But about that controversy: Adam Dickter, reporting in The New York Jewish Week, writes that the Jewish National Fund's CEO thinks I'm ignant for arguing that people shouldn't give him money:
JNF CEO Russell Robinson said Goldberg's assertion that the government should go it alone "shows a complete lack of understanding and ignorance."
A lack of understanding and ignorance. That's heavy. In fact, I do think the Israeli government should go it alone when it comes to public safety. That's what proud, advanced countries do -- they don't schnor firehoses from senior citizens in Boca Raton. However, I also think people should plant trees in Israel; it's almost a religious obligation, one I have fulfilled repeatedly. But I'm not going to do it now, and neither should anyone else, until the Israelis can assure us that our newly-planted trees won't be burned to a crisp because of government incompetence.
Ask yourselves this simple question: Do you believe that the Israeli government's firefighting capabilities and strategies are currently sufficient to protect your trees? If your answer is yes, you haven't been reading about the incompetence of those Israelis in charge of suppressing forest fires. No one expects Israel to prevent all forest fires, but, as numerous press reports have detailed, Israel's fire service is -- and has been -- a disreputable mess. Israeli authorities have known about this disaster-in-the-making for years, and have done nothing. So, no, I'm not going to waste my money buying trees for Israel until I know that competent people are in charge, and that a plan is in place.
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