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Downfall of Israel's Hadassah hospital sign of deeper crisis

The collapse of the Hadassah hospital demonstrates that as long as the government avoids dealing with powerful interest groups that control the economy and threaten politicians, the next fiasco is just a matter of time.
An Orthodox Jewish man pushes himself on a wheelchair outside Hadassah hospital, where the critically ill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being treated, in Jerusalem January 14, 2006. Doctors tending to Sharon are concerned that the Israeli prime minister has not shown signs of emerging from a coma and may take longer than hoped to regain consciousness, hospital sources said on Friday. REUTERS/Chris Helgren - RTR185BP
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While the collapse of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem continues to resonate in newspaper headlines and newscasts alike, there have been reports in the last few days of port workers in Ashdod and Haifa registering en masse for the Likud Party. According to these reports, the goal is to apply pressure on the Likud minister of transportation, Yisrael Katz, to put a halt to a plan to establish private ports in Israel.

Ostensibly, there is no connection between the financial crisis facing the hospital and the forceful struggle of the port workers. The truth is, however, that both cases are symptomatic of the same disease now plaguing the Israeli economy: Public organizations or semi-public organizations — as in the case of Hadassah, the electric company, health insurance providers and the Israel Broadcasting Authority — are run inefficiently by powerful interest groups that are not subject to any real oversight. Enormous systems that rely on public moneys are terrorizing the political system.

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