Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Who's to blame?

Taking responsibility: We love talking about it but hate actually doing it. Ever since a child is old enough to understand, his parents and teachers go on and on about the importance of taking responsibility. I remember a Rabbi once saying that whenever he teaches a Bar Mitzva boy, he always asks him what it means to him to be becoming Bar Mitzva. Almost without exception, he said, the answer is, ‘Being of age means that I must take responsibility for my own actions.’

Everyone preaches about responsibility. But when it comes down to it, human nature kicks in, and we do everything possible to avoid it. The leaders who led Israel through the disastrous Lebanon War still refuse to take responsibility and resign. Before Winograd’s findings were released, they defended their record in the war. After the findings came out, they still shirk responsibility. Ironically, when Sharon founded his new party in 2005, it was initially named Ahrayaut Leumit (National Responsibility), before the party leaders changed it to Kadima (Forward). Forget about responsibility, let’s just go forward.

The shocking scenes from Beitar Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium, where 30 people were injured in a crush on Sunday, bring back awful memories of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. At the final whistle, with Beitar just a whisker away from winning their first league title in nine years, the fans attempted to run on the pitch to celebrate. At Teddy, the spectators are kept behind fences, with gates that only security can open. When the fans rushed forward, those at the front were crushed. Even when the gates were opened, the crush continued as thousands tried to funnel through the narrow gaps.

With ambulances, medics and stretchers in the background, Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco gave an interview saying that it wasn’t his fault. As far as the police were concerned this was a normal fixture, as the league could only be won the following week. The club says it wasn’t their fault that there is a perimeter fence around the ground – they were planning to take it down for the following game but never anticipated that the passionate fans might be getting a little excited. And of course the fans claim it’s not their fault – it was just a natural reaction. Apparently it’s no one’s fault

The Police Inspector-General has announced that a special investigative team would be set up to assess the events leading to the event. Let’s just hope that when they come out with findings that places the blame on a combination of the police, the stadium and the fans that someone might step forward and say ‘I take responsibility for my failings.’ Unfortunately, I suspect that the reaction is more likely to be ‘kadima!’


pat said...

I've been to a game at Teddy. The Israeli authorities are waiting for a real disaster, judging by my experience. Proper and safe crowd-control methods outside and inside the stadium were non-existent. Fans were funnelled throgh narrow entrance channels and were pushed there by police horses.
Access and exits must be clear at all times. Fences inside stadia are death-traps!Anyone who enters the playing area should be subject to criminal sanction.
The English F.A. were forced by Government to bring in these changes after the Hillsborough disaster, when nearly 100 Liverpool fans were crushed to death. Chas vechalila, the Israeli F.A and Government should wait for such an event, before taking action

muse said...

great post

In America there's the concept of "The buck stops here." Legend has it that Truman's desk had a sign with that saying.

In Israel they play "hot potato."