Friday, August 4

Funny green container with disturbing information

Following Nasrallah's warning about launching missiles aimed at Tel Aviv, the municipality published a list of public shelters on its website. Currently the shelters are locked, but, so the municipality stresses, they will be opened according to the guidelines provided by "pikud ha'oref" (home command or some such).
I guess that means AFTER things start going badly (hoping ofcourse they won't). The shelter relatively close to my home is more than 1 minute of very quick running away. And i am a good sprinter. I heard we'll have a 1-minute warning, so that will leave me kind of outside.
The shelter's also locked. Over the years it has been turned into a youth club, well equipped with computers (connected to the internet, so assuming electricity and connection to be up during and after the attack, i can continue blogging in real time), airconditioning etc. and this being Jaffa, a series of very well locked doors. The key is with those responsible for the club, not the municipality. At least the shelter is clean and in a reasonable state. Who knows what the condition of other shelters in Jaffa is. Over time some became homes for the homeless, other good hiding places for drugs stashes and some others yet nice, fancy living quarters to our local rat population.

Suddenly some very large green containers started to sprout in Jaffa, carrying signs suggesting they are sort of, well, situation related. Ofcourse they are also locked, i guess one can call the phone numbers provided, when needed (hoping the system will not be dead and the mobile system overloaded by everyone and their grandmother calling to ask everyone else if they are OK.

I guess i like to think they won't be needed, so why bother. I hope i am right.

And i better be; it appears there is no one truly responsible for whatever happens to Israel's civilian population. The government does not wish to officially declare war nor emergency, as that would imply finanacial responsibilities rather not taken by the ministry of finance. Money's always first on their minds, "kibinimat the people". (how does one translate "kibinimat", anyone out there?)
Over the last several years so many services have been privatised, that well-meaning but not necessarily efficient NGO's have taken over many functions previously undertaken by the goverment. The state no longer is responsible. And that means you gotta be lucky or well-connected to receive good assistance. Often NGO's provide local or area-wide services. Sometimes by well trained volunteers which is ok, but what if one needs expert professional services? And, during time of war, what about the commitment of those well meaning volunteers? And the infrastructure supporting the services?
I do some work at a Jaffa NGO. We have no shelter, nor a windowless room. The one story building is old and there is no "mamad". The closest shelter is way further than 1 minute of very quick running. Would it be responsible to continue providing services under those conditions or would it be lacking responsibility to do so? After all, protection is far away. Both clients and staff would be in danger.
There is no minister of welfare and that says it all. Eighteen ministers, several portfolio-less, but no minister of welfare.
You think the US government's response to hurricane Katrina was inadequate? Wait till the shit hits the fan here (and it is hitting the fan big-time in the north of the country). For years we have been lulling ourselves to sleep thinking "private services" are much more efficient than state-run ones. I suppose there will be an enquiry committee which will publish a long report with many suggestions on improving services. The state nor the municipality see themselves as responsible for the welfare of the people.
And that's way beyond semantics.

And for the Hebrew challenged, the image shows a sign pasted on one of the large green containers. It states the container holds emergency equipment.

No comments: