Saturday, January 8, 2011

The only free country in the Middle East

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been heckled at a memorial service for those who died in the country's worst-ever wildfire last month.

Victims' relatives forced him to halt his speech commemorating 42 people who died in Carmel forest, north of Haifa.

But bodyguards shielded him from hecklers at the Beit Oren kibbutz.

Most of the abuse was directed at Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who many relatives consider responsible for failures in handling the blaze. . . .

Others shouted that Mr Netanyahu should be held responsible and called for him to resign.

Flaws and all, Israel is the only nation in the Middle East in which the citizens could heckle and shout down their leaders, and not get shot or arrested.

Israel remains the only functioning Middle East democracy.

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