The horror of wasted yesterday kept me awake all night - I cannot go on like this, I am working too much and making no money. I mean this month of February I got only one cheque and another one that "is in the mail". I am designing water systems but the bulk of the work is getting official permits for the designs. And that in Israel means dealing with a corrupt, uncaring, unresponsive, hostile bureaucracy, which has absolute power to bring up and demand compliance with obscure rules from the voluminous Israeli legislation, the English Mandatorial rules, the Turkish Empire's diktats and the customary rules from the long forgotten Byzantine Empire. The fact is that more than half of Israel's businesses have no permits and a very high percentage of the building (I think some 50% has never been issued permits, and the rest has additions or ampliations that have not been even submitted for permits) is illegal reflects the difficulty or near impossibility to get officials sign permits. This situation suits well the bureaucracy, as putting the business sector out of the law, makes anything "bad" happening the criminal's responsibility. When, say, a wall collapses, the town engineer who did not sign the permit for it during his period of five years average can declare: "It was an illegal building, here are the letters I wrote objecting to giving a permit to the project". On the other hand, forcing decent people to live in "illegality" and to operate unlicenced businesses for a living makes the public feel very hostile against government offices. The kafkaesque demands convince the public that the bureaucracy is corrupt and only wants to extract money, which as a rule in Israel is untrue at the personal level, but it is the only narrative that makes sense to the public. And reading in the papers that our President is a serial raper, and the Police Chief is a maffia family criminal (Karady certainly looks the part) and so on, makes it clear to the "small" businessman that crime and illegality is the Israeli way.On the other hand, it is a virtual illegality, and real crime and corruption, while existing, is not widespread.
Post Scriptum: The Israeli Army started building the "Ir HaBahamim" - the city of the training bases. It will be a large (160 Hectare) military city of seven independent training camps, 10 km south of Ramat Hovav Industrial Area, near Beer Sheba, dirty Beduin scatters land. The idea is to free up valuable real estate in the center of the country for civilian uses. The chief planner is Rafi Lerman, an outstanding architect, and the basic design concept is to be more green than the "Greens". Everything is ecological, suited to the desert environment, water reuse and solar energy and protected against sandstorms and so on. No project ever dedicated such a proportion of its budget to environmental issues. The Army - a natural hate magnet for the pacifist green movement - has sworn to outdo the Greens, but that goal seems unachievable even for one of the best military organizations in the world. So, the Army decided to start building without receiving the permits from the Ministry of Environment and other bureaucratic authorities. At least the Army has the will and the means to blow up the bulldozers in their way to stop the construction.
Post post Scriptum: Through an association with Dror Zonnenschein l received yesterday night a well paying job, 3 times what I used to charge. The solution seems to be to associate with prestigious professionals, to get better quality clients. This is my new direction.