By Micah Halpern
The buck stops where?
US President Harry S. Truman had a sign prominently displayed on his desk that read “the buck stops here.” In other words, ultimate responsibility rests with the leader. Great leaders take responsibility.
But it seems that not all leaders subscribe to that sentiment.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu testified that he bears no responsibility for the safety gaps that led to the deadly stampede that killed 45 people last year on the Jewish holiday and festival called Lag B’Omer.
The incident, which was the worst civilian disaster in the country's history, took place on Mount Meron in northern Israel in April of 2021. Around 100,000 worshipers attended the celebration despite coronavirus regulations limiting outdoor assemblies to 500 people, and in spite of longstanding warnings about the safety of the site.
Testifying before an independent commission investigating the tragedy, then Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed that he only became involved in preparations for the Festival at Meron because of the coronavirus pandemic. As for safety gaps or measures, he said, “I didn’t deal with safety … The prime minister doesn't deal with that."
That is simply a sham.
Netanyahu also said that he did not step in to investigate how it happened, why it happened and who was derelict.
The death of 45 people on his watch, countless others injured and still suffering and Netanyahu has the gall to claim no involvement.
This tragedy, this catastrophe, will be a blight on his long career as an Israeli leader.
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