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Israel At War: Netanyahu and His Government Are Not Functioning

The government’s dysfunction forced citizens, mostly pro-democracy, to take on the state’s role.

Israel-Hamas War 2023/ screenshot

by Sima Ella

On the fourth day of the most traumatic war with Hamas, over 1,000 people were killed, 2,900 were injured, and an unknown number of men, women, and children were kidnapped, and Israel’s government was still silent to the public.

The pro-democracy protestors took imminently responsibility, doing the empty state’s jobs.

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Hundreds of families have not yet received contact from an official regarding handling the missing, the murdered, and the kidnapped, so citizens have compiled lists and come to the aid of families.

A shortage of personnel to match the evidence of the missing with the DNA samples provided by the families became clear yesterday with the arrival of hundreds of bodies at the identification institutes.

As a result, many days will likely pass before worried families receive answers about what happened to their loved ones: were they murdered, kidnapped to Gaza, or are they out of touch in one of the hospitals?

In the meantime, officials are working slowly and cannot respond to the large number of missing people and their families’ urgent need for answers from the government, which are not forthcoming.

The government’s dysfunction forced citizens, most of whom were pro-democracy, to take on the state’s role. They saved lives in communities in the south. They are providing aid to soldiers and civilians, compiling lists of missing people, offering psychological assistance to those affected by the violence, moving devastated families whose homes were destroyed to the center, and collecting for them all their basic needs, including food, clothes, toys for the children, home equipment, and much more. 

Thousands of reservists were called to war. Many of them had difficulty reaching their military bases. Public and organized transportation was unavailable, so many reservists had to use their private vehicles or hitchhike.

Transportation Minister Miri Regev should have acted immediately upon the outbreak of the war to operate transportation on Shabbat for the benefit of these reservists, but she waited until Shabbat was over.

Many Israeli fighters returned from abroad to Israel during the war, but the response was slow. Just two days after the war began, Minister Regev announced that more than 20 flights had been added. This was too little, too late.

The government’s failure to act has been met with growing anger and frustration among Israelis. Many are questioning the government’s competence and the appointments made. The fact that citizens have to step in and do the government’s job is a sad testament to the state of affairs in Israel.

Ministers in the most vocal government are nowhere to be seen on the ground—not being interviewed to convey information to the public, who rely mainly on social media for updates. They are not with the residents of the south, not in the hospitals, not at funerals. 

Since he was elected almost a year ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not held a press conference where he could be asked questions beyond what he has chosen to say. Last night, he gave a live statement that made people more angry at him.  

Two days after the attack, the only person interviewed on television was the CEO of the Prime Minister’s Office, Yossi Sheli, who was careful to avoid taking any responsibility for the government’s functioning. He deflected problems and accusations, such as the big party, where young people congregated in nature, “contributed to the chaos,” and the large number of bodies that could not be dealt with quickly.

It is a shame that after billions were given to the IDF, fighters are still flooding social media with requests for help from the public due to a lack of combat equipment and food. They warn that they do not have protective vests, ceramic vests, headlamps, or even military shoes. 

Some say they have received old and worn equipment that could endanger their lives in battle. The IDF and the office of Defense Minister Yoav Galant have said they are dealing with the matter, but unfortunately, the problems persist. Other soldiers testified that they had nothing to eat, no place to sleep, and no basic conditions to function and carry out their assigned tasks. 

Israel-Hamas War 2023/ screenshot

Pro-democracy citizens also took on the responsibility of explaining the state of Israel to the world during the war. That is because the Minister of Information, Galit Distel-Atbarian, used her office budget to explain why the government is legitimized to enact reform in the judicial system. She was not prioritizing the need to explain the state of Israel to the world. She is a useless failure.

Once again, citizens were ahead of the government. Many network influencers have already started to explain to the world about the atrocities that were happening in Israel. 

The uniqueness of the Israeli people in their mobilization and endless giving is striking and exciting, but it also reminds us of everything that the government does not do. The people of Israel deserve a government that is competent, responsive, and accountable to them.



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