Bureaucracy noun

A system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation

If there is one constant in Israel it is the bureaucracy that is the real ruler of this country. In my years of working as an administrator in non-profit entities I constantly emphasized to my staff that we, that is the administration, are not the program. The job of the administration is to make sure that the wishes of the programming staff are done expeditiously yet at the same time correctly. Certainly there is a budget to adhere to, but it isn’t written in stone and there are times that a budget must be broken in order to accomplish the mission.

Why is this not true in government, especially here in Israel? I have personally been witness to programs supported by cabinet ministers that have been undercut, eviscerated and gelded by mid level bureaucrats. Why is that?

Because they can do it with impunity.

The powerful unions exert such influence that it is impossible to fire a bureaucrat.

The Talmud has a phrase for such a situation – עבד כי ימלוך – when the slave becomes the ruler.

Witness the pitiful efforts of the government to put some real needed money in the hands of the people, especially self employed people. First nothing is offered, then a measly 6,000 shekel – pretax mind you – is offered with more strings attached than tzitzit, and then even that is taken away.

It is easy to blame this on Netanyahu, but that fails to understand the source of the problem. It is irrelevant who is the prime minister and which party ostensibly rules, the fact is our lives are run by non elected bureaucrats.

I have always felt that the USA still suffers from Prohibition. Even though Prohibition was repealed almost 90 years ago it still prevails in the ridiculous alcohol laws that exist in almost every state. Similarly, although the “Mahapecha” ushered the end of the Mapai era, we are still subject to the whims of the bureaucrats a la Salach Shabati.

It is time to change this nonsense and give the government back to where it belongs, to elected people who need to fear being thrown out of office.

About the Author
Aron Epstein is a certified public accountant. He made Aliyah with his family in 2009 from Cleveland, Ohio. Aside from an active business Aron enjoys outdoors sports, particularly skiing, although doesn't get enough time to do it.
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