The public outcry over last week's snowstorm and the allegations leveled at authorities for the way they handled the emergency situation have Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz calling for the dissolution of the Homefront Defense Ministry.
Mofaz said there were already two ministries overseeing the day-to-day maintenance of the homefront: the Defense Ministry and the Public Security Ministry.
In an interview with Army Radio, Mofaz said the Homefront Defense Ministry "is nothing more than a cushy job. At a time when we are constantly discussing downsizing the number of ministers, it's simply unnecessary."
The Homefront Defense Ministry was formed in 2011, as a political promotion for then-Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai. Vilnai was allowed to retain his office's authorities when he assumed the role of homefront defense minister, including oversight of the National Emergency Management Authority.
Mofaz said the Homefront Defense Ministry was devoid of any real authority: "The defense minister and the IDF chief of staff still maintain control of the [relevant] authorities. None were transferred to the Homefront Defense Ministry."
Mofaz called the move "unnatural" and said it had been detrimental to the homefront's defense.
"As important as NEMA is, the [IDF's] Homefront Command is the branch that plans and executes, because it has the experts and the experience. Transferring the Homefront Command's authorities from the army to a civilian institution was an unnatural move," Mofaz said.
He said he believed the Homefront Defense Ministry would soon be shut down.
"The Homefront Defense Ministry is a makeshift branch and it, too, shall pass. The Defense Ministry and the IDF will retain their authorities. We have to return to the model in which the deputy defense minister draws his powers from the defense minister and therefore also oversees NEMA," Mofaz said.
He told Army Radio that neither the defense minister nor the public security minister "saw the point" of the Homefront Defense Ministry.
"The past few days have been a classic example of why this ministry is redundant. The people who assumed responsibility for the safety and security of the public were the police, Magen David Adom, the IDF and Israel Electric Corp. personnel -- not the Homefront Defense Ministry officials," he said.
Mofaz refuted the idea that the government should have declared an official state of emergency because of the storm.
"This was not an extreme scenario so there was no need to declare a state of emergency. We experienced a few days of extreme weather, and the weather fixed itself," he said.