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Friday, April 21, 2006

Big fish, not big headlines

I am sure that at some point in the past three and a half months that I have been writing this blog, I have hinted (if not said outright) that I believe that the entire 'conversion' of Ariel Sharon to the unilateral disengagement surrender plan in Gaza was the result of the political corruption in which his family had become involved. In the plainest possible terms, I believe that Ariel Sharon agreed to expel the Jewish revenants from Gaza in order to keep himself and his sons out of jail. If I haven't said it here, I certainly have said it on Little Green Footballs, and you can search the archives there for more details.

Israel's state attorney's office, and particularly its prosecutorial staff, are bastions of leftism. Nearly all prosecutions of politicians in Israel - and there are not enough of them - have everything to do with corruption and cronyism in the state prosecutor's office and little to do with the relative guilt or innocence of the victims. Remember Bibi Netanyahu's maid? Yet to this day, the guilt or innocence of those involved in financing Ehud Barak's campaign is unresolved, and the chief architect of the alleged corruption - Isaac Herzog - is now number 2 on the Labor party list.

Attorney General Menachem (Mani) Mazuz is perhaps the epitome of the leftist tilt in Israel's state attorney's office. Appointed by Ariel Sharon with the blessing of Yossi Beilin, Mazuz's job was to take the heat off Sharon until he could surrender Gaza to the 'Palestinians.'

This is a rather lengthy introduction to give you all the background to understand what comes next. Isi Leibler has hit the nail on the head regarding the corruption of our state prosecutors.

It is gratifying that the courts now appear to have begun imposing tough sentences, but apparently, also concentrating primarily against the petty transgressors, rather than the big fish. For example, Nomi Blumenthal [who stayed in the Likud CiJ] improperly provided free overnight hotel layovers for some of her potential supporters. Admittedly she compounded the matter by trying to cover up the impropriety. But for a woman with an unblemished record and a long background of public service to be sentenced to eight months for such a minor transgression is not only cruelly unjust, but bizarre. Would she have been sentenced to prison for bribery had she wined and dined potential supporters in an elegant restaurant instead of giving them a free hotel night? If Nomi Blumenthal goes to jail for such an offense, by the same yardstick many cabinet ministers and MKs would deserve life.

To further highlight these inconsistencies one need only relate to former Likud minister Tzahi Hanegbi who [moved to Kadima CiJ] had the gall to publicly boast that he topped his party's primaries because he was more effective in obtaining better jobs for the boys (his supporters) than other contenders. Hanegbi is now a candidate for Ehud Olmert's cabinet. Is it remotely conceivable that this man, whose public improprieties make Blumenthal's one-night hotel freebies pale into insignificance, will now be indicted by Mazuz and receive a major jail sentence? Not likely.

Omri Sharon, [who moved to Kadima after his father set it up. CiJ] after finally being prosecuted for engineering a fraudulent conspiracy involving millions of dollars of political contributions, an illegal act which undoubtedly impacted on the political direction of the entire nation, was sentenced to jail for an equivalent duration to Blumenthal's punishment for the overnight hotel freebies. Yet Omri Sharon is bitterly appealing against the sentence on the grounds that he got a raw deal.

WHAT TOPS everything is the almost comical display of Mazuz flexing his muscles in relation to Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger [a religious Jew - unlike the three listed above - who was Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv's candidate for Chief Rabbi. CiJ] for allegedly having received discounted accommodation at various hotels over the festivals.


But was Rabbi Metzger's act of "moral perdition" in receiving discounted hotel accommodation in any way inconsistent with the behavior of most public officials and cabinet ministers? Had Metzger been offered reciprocal under-the-table favors by agreeing for example, to impose less stringent kashrut supervision in return for discounted accommodation, that certainly would have warranted prosecution. Yet the only evidence of a reciprocal benefit was a pathetic hint that one rabbi may have obtained a job of supervising the milking of cows by video! The whole affair is something out of Chelm and Mazuz makes a fool of himself by behaving in this manner.

MORE WORRYING is that Mazuz takes upon himself the mantle of both judge and prosecutor. He publicly concedes that he has insufficient evidence for an indictment against Metzger and closes the investigation. But he then proceeds to pontificate that the chief rabbi's behavior, renders him unfit to continue in his role, and calls on him to resign. Mazuz seems to have lost the plot. His role is to indict or not indict. When an attorney-general arrogates to himself the role of imposing sanctions on citizens - without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves or prove their innocence in court - that not only assumes guilt before conviction, It effectively abrogates the rule of law.

Paradoxically, Mazuz came to a similar conclusion about Ariel Sharon as he did with Metzger when he announced that there was insufficient evidence to warrant the prime minister's prosecution. He would never have dared suggest that the prime minister should stand down. The double standard applied by Mazuz shrieks to high heaven.

Read the whole thing.


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