Monday, March 20, 2006


Official government announcement:

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Following are Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 19.3.06:

"Bird flu has recently been discovered in Israel. The Government has been prepared to deal with this issue for some time. Today, we are taking all the measures that we prepared for. All of the dead birds will be buried in order to prevent the disease from spreading. It is important to emphasize that at this stage, we are talking only about bird flu; there is no indication that the there is the possibility of the disease spreading to people. All necessary measures to ensure that this does not happen, are being implemented. Of course, while I suggest attributing due seriousness to the appearance of bird flu, we should also be more relaxed about the dangers that people may be concerned about, given the measures that we have taken and are taking to prevent further spreading. In any case, it will not lead to an outbreak among people. Of course, the team that the Government will set up will deal with compensating farmers who have been damaged as a result of the disease and this will be done soon. Agriculture Minister Ze'ev Boim and Health Minister Ya'akov Edery will brief us on the bird flu phenomenon.

In addition to the $300,000- the former kibbutznikim of Shomriya are receiving, and they're leaving willingly after failing to make a success of their kibbutz. I'd like to know how much government money was wasted on Kibbutz Shomriya as they floundered, since kibbutzim have been highly subsidized by the government and Jewish Agency. They're not being charged for the mortgages of the homes the government stole and destroyed. Kibbutz homes are free for members.

But at the same time, the expellees of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron are not receiving their compensation for the "loss" of their homes, businesses and jobs.

And don't forget the "fence," whether you call it "security," "separation" or border, billions of dollars have gone into it, and it's far from complete. Amazingly, neither the Israeli right, which considers it a danger, nor the left think it will solve anything, as I read in The Olive Branch, Youth Magazine of Seeds of Peace:

"In my opinion, putting this wall between people is not going to stop anything, except the hope that some people still have of a better future."

The only ones in favor of the fence are the businessmen who are profiting from it, especially every time the route is changed. It seems like money is controlling Israel, and that's bad news, not only for us, but for the entire world.

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