My day in the Negev began in Rahat. From the overlook near the water tower you could see very distinctly a very well planned, government sanctioned town. To the right there were tin shacks and the evidence of a creeping subversive building campaign to swallow up Israeli State land. The old adage of give a inch and they take a yard.
What irked me was the lawlessness of the population. The taxes that any Israeli citizen pays are impressive and for that we get a civil society. These 200,000 people pay nothing and have 20,000 illegal squatters to boot. The argument that “hey we serve in the Army” wears thin. It is a mere 2%! Look at the massive underground economy you have created that taxes are not collected for. Your healthcare is as good as mine- WTH!
The thing that annoyed me was seeing all of the illegal gas stations everywhere- symbols of the” in your face” lawlessness. Mahmoud and Jamil decide to open up a station and they haul and oil heating container into a residential section. Environmental pollution be damned and sell unregulated industrial gas on the black market- nifty huh?
The disregard the rule of law, the environmental impact and labor laws skirted- and they don’t pay taxes. The 70,000 illegal structure built without permit on state lands seemed so unfair when a day before I visited the Shomrom and listened to the persecution of settlers. It seemed monumentally unfair to have the laws so flaunted by these Bedouins Arabs.
Well, I am not staying annoyed. I intend to see that the government does right by its citizens and cracks down on the situation. Some laws are already on the book and need to be enforced. If we are have a fair society with equal representation under the law- we have to put the law first.
If the people elected to enforce the law do not have “the will”- then we need other leaders that will reflect the will of the people. And that is how an American born Israeli see this issue. Israel begs us to come and share our education, talents and to take up the burden of citizenship- well we bring an American gumption for problem solving to the Middle East- this should be interesting!