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A plane to the prime minister is a waste of money? How about some national pride? - Walla! Business

2020-11-28T04:34:17.974Z

The prime minister's plane costs us hundreds of millions of shekels and its maintenance is even more expensive. Avichai Snir believes that investing in education or welfare instead fits the Israeli character like a glove. opinion



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A plane to the prime minister is a waste of money?

How about some national pride?

The prime minister's plane costs us hundreds of millions of shekels and its maintenance is even more expensive.

Avichai Snir believes that investing in education or welfare instead fits the Israeli character like a glove.

opinion

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  • vault

  • Corona

  • Prime Minister

Avichai Snir

Friday, 27 November 2020, 02:01

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In the video: The auditor refers to the interim report on the corona crisis (Photo: State Comptroller's Office, edited by: Assaf Drori)

I read a few days ago that after years of preparations, about NIS 600 million in costs, and another NIS 800 million in planned maintenance costs, the Air Force is finally about to receive the prime minister's plane.

When I heard that, I thought to myself: Why does a prime minister's plane actually seem so unnecessary to me?

After all, the role of the government is to set priorities;

If the government has decided that a plane for the prime minister is high on the list of priorities, and the Knesset, as a representative of the public, has approved, I should have no problem with the purchase of the plane.



As an economist, I know that the job of the government is to allocate resources to improve the well-being of the residents.

If the residents, and the Knesset that represents them, think that a plane for the prime minister and the president improves welfare more than a few hundred million more for education, health, or welfare, then probably a plane for the prime minister is really something worth spending hundreds of millions on.



But then I remembered a story that Akiva Eldar once told me, and I understood what was bothering me.

We sat over a cup of coffee (in the days when sitting together in a cafe was still allowed), and Akiva recalled a tour of Prime Minister Shamir in 1987 in Africa, a tour that Akiva accompanied as a Haaretz journalist.

As part of the tour, the prime minister and his entourage traveled to an official event at President Cameron's palace.

Akiva was surprised by the ostentation, and looked around at all the waste.

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Journalist Tamar Golan, who was also on the delegation, saw the look in Akiva's eyes.

"What are you so amazed at?" She asked him.

He explained that this was not how he imagined Africa.

"Come with me," she suggested to him, "I'll show you something."

Akiva, who knew that Tamar Golan was the number one expert on Africa, happily agreed.

Tamar and Akiva left the palace, and she took him on a tour of the capital.

"We just crossed the street," Akiva told me, "and we were already in Africa as I imagined it, with shabby huts, and with abject poverty."

Rebuke from the ambassador

What does it matter that the corona brought back a large part of the population of Israel a few years back.

The main thing is that the prime minister has a plane that glorifies Israel's name in the world

The next day, an article was published in which Akiva described the gap between the magnificent palace and the low standard of living of the residents who live right next to it.

After Akiva returned to Israel, he received an invitation to the Cameroon embassy.

The ambassador met him, and rebuked him harshly for the article.

According to the ambassador, the article violated Cameron's national dignity.

The people who live near the palace, the ambassador explained, belong to the president's tribe.

They know that thanks to the palace, guests from around the world see how a respectable president Cameron is, and this enhances Cameron's image in the world.

Therefore, the inhabitants of Cameroon have no problem with the magnificent palace.

On the contrary, they are proud of the magnificent palace that elevates the name of Cameron in the world, and see no connection between the palace and their condition.



When I heard the story from Akiva, I thought it was a story about Africa.

But when I hear that one of the reasons for buying a plane for the prime minister is that Israelis should be proud of the prime minister's glorious plane, because it contributes to Israel's international image, I begin to think that perhaps the differences between Israel and Cameroon are not so great.

Therefore, I would not be surprised if in a few years the Prime Minister buys an even more luxurious plane.

What does it matter that the corona brought back a large part of the population of Israel a few years back.

The main thing is that the prime minister has a plane that glorifies Israel's name in the world.



Dr. Avichai Snir - Netanya Academy and Bar-Ilan University

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Source: walla

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