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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A new low: Former Prime Minister Olmert gets six years for bribery

In a country where a former President is sitting in jail for sexual assault, you might have thought we could not go much lower. Well, we just might have. As many of you probably know, former Prime Minister Ehud Korruption Olmert has been sentenced to six years in jail for accepting bribes in connection with the construction of the Holyland colossus on the southern edge of Jerusalem.

Olmert going jail barely scratches the surface of the rot and corruption among Israel's top officials. I want to show you two small points in the article linked above rather than going through the whole thing (which I am too busy to do anyway - those of us Israelis who are honest work hard for a living), in order to give you some idea why Israel's ruling classes are so corrupt.
Experts had been estimating that Olmert would likely get at least a few years in prison, and that his being prime minister would not get him special treatment.
Still, on a separate prior and less serious conviction in his July 2012 Jerusalem corruption trial, Olmert received only community service with the court noting his service to the state as one of the reasons for leniency.
Usually, elites like Olmert get off the hook no matter what they do. It's only when the corruption hits the judges over the head that they feel they must act.
The judge added that Olmert was an extremely talented man that made a great contribution to the state through his public service. Rozen said, however, that his hands were tied by law to certain set punishment guidelines without discretion.
Rozen said that Olmert was guilty of "moral turpitude," meaning that he would not be allowed to reenter politics for at least seven years.
Why do the judge's hands have to be tied in order for him to do the right thing?

And notice that they're already counting the years, months and days until Olmert can return to politics. For those of you who lived through the '70's in the US, can  you imagine the voters ever electing Richard Nixon to another office? Spiro Agnew? In most of the western world, when you're convicted of corruption or bribery, your career in politics is over. Not in Israel. And until that changes, we Israelis will continue to be victimized by corrupt politicians like Olmert.

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At 6:10 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Will this case set a precedent for investigating $lu$hflow?

At 10:56 PM, Blogger mrzee said...

Richard Nixon was never convicted of anything and he was never impeached although he probably would have been if he'd stuck around until they voted on it.

On the other hand, Bill Clinton was impeached and lost he law license for committing perjury. I can certainly imagine Clinton getting re-elected if he ever ran for anything. In fact, I still take him overthe Community-Organizer-in-Chief


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