21 June 2018   The ultimate failure - By: Daoud Kuttab

18 June 2018   End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis - By: Ramzy Baroud

15 June 2018   Uri Avnery: The Siamese Twins - By: Uri Avnery


10 June 2018   Knesset foils efforts to end Israeli apartheid - By: Jonathan Cook


8 June 2018   Uri Avnery: Are YOU Brainwashed? - By: Uri Avnery

7 June 2018   Open letter to PM designate Omar Razzaz - By: Daoud Kuttab


1 June 2018   Uri Avnery: Strong as Death - By: Uri Avnery

















5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

14 November 2017

The Trials of Benjamin Netanyahu: Corruption in Israel is Not Just an Israeli Issue

By: Ramzy Baroud
print     send by email

Whether the string of scandals, now hounding Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, lead to his sacking or not, it matters little.

Though nearly half of Israelis polled last July - well before the scandals took a much dirtier turn - believe that Netanyahu is corrupt, a majority of Israelis said that they would still vote for him.

A recent survey conducted by Israel's Channel 10 TV concluded that, if general elections are held today, Netanyahu will garner 28% while his closest contenders, Avi Gabbay of the Zionist Camp and Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid will each gather 11% of the vote.

"The next stage, which is drawing near, is for the citizens of Israel to re-elect a criminal as their leader and entrust their fate to him," a leading Israeli columnist, Akiva Eldar, wrote in response to Netanyahu's continued popularity, despite accusations of corruption and repeated police investigations.

But Eldar should not be surprised. Political corruption, bribery and misuse of public funds have been the norm - not exception - in Israeli politics.

Alex Roy puts it more succinctly in a recent piece in the ‘Times of Israel’: "The fact that (Netanyahu) still has a good chance of being the prime minister after these coming elections says more about how used to corruption we have become than how clean he is."

Roy wrote that his country "has gotten used to political criminals" simply because "each prime minister over the last quarter century has at some point faced criminal charges."

He is right, but there are two major points that are missing in the discussion which had been, until recently, mostly confined to Israeli media.  

First, the nature of the suspected misconduct of Netanyahu is different from his predecessors. This matters greatly.

Second, Israeli society's apparent acceptance of corrupt politicians might have less to do with the assumption that they have "gotten used" to the idea and more with the fact that the culture, as a whole, has grown corrupt. And there is a reason for it.

To elucidate, Netanyahu’s alleged corruption is rather different from that of former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.

Olmert was corrupt the old-fashioned way. In 2006, he was found guilty of accepting bribes while serving as the mayor of Jerusalem. In 2012, he was convicted for breach of trust and bribery, this time as Prime Minister. In 2015 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment.

Other top Israeli officials were also indicted, including President Moshe Katsav, who was convicted of rape and obstruction of justice.

These charges remained largely confined to a person or two, making the nature of the conspiracy quite limited.  Israeli and western media pundits used such prosecutions to make a point regarding the health of Israel's democracy, especially when compared with its Arab neighbors.

Things are different under Netanyahu. Corruption in Israel is becoming more like mafia operations, roping in elected civil servants, military brass, top lawyers and large conglomerates.

The nature of the investigations that are closing in on Netanyahu points to this fact.

Netanyahu is embroiled in ‘File 1000’, where the Prime Minister and his wife accepted gifts of large financial value from a renowned Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan, in exchange for favors that, if confirmed, required Netanyahu to use his political influence as the Prime Minister.

‘File 2000’ is the 'Yisrael Hayom' affair.  In this case, Netanyahu reached a secret deal with the publisher of the leading ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ newspaper, Arnon Mozes. According to the deal, Yedioth agreed to cut down on its criticism of Netanyahu’s policies in exchange for the latter's promise to decrease the sale of a rival newspaper, ‘Yisrael Hayom’.

‘Yisrael Hayom’ is owned by pro-Israeli American business tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, Netanyahu's close and powerful ally, until the news of the Yedioth deal surfaced. Since then, ‘Yisrael Hayom’ turned against Netanyahu.

‘File 3000’ is the German submarines affair. Top national security advisors, all very closely aligned to Netanyahu, were involved in the purchase of German submarines that were deemed unnecessary, yet cost the government billions of dollars. Large sums of this money were syphoned by Netanyahu's inner circle and transferred to secret, private bank accounts.

This case, in particular, is significant regarding the widespread corruption in Israel's upper-most circles.

Central to this investigation are the cousins and two closest confidantes of Netanyahu: his personal lawyer, David Shimron and the country's 'de-facto foreign minister’, Isaac Molcho. The latter has managed to build an impressive, but largely hidden, network for Netanyahu, where the lines of foreign policy, massive government contracts, and personal business dealings are largely blurred.

There is also the ‘Berzeq affair’ involving Israeli telecommunication giant, Berzeq, and Netanyahu's political ally and friend, Shlomo Filber.

Netanyahu was the Minister of Communication until he was ordered by court to step down in 2016. According to media reports, his handpicked replacement, Filber, served the role of 'spy' for the telecommunication powerhouse to ensure critical decisions made by the government are communicated in advance to the company.

Most intriguing about Netanyahu's corruption is that it is not a reflection of him alone: this is layered corruption, involving a large network of Israel’s upper echelons.

There is more to the Israeli public’s willingness to accept corruption, than its inability to stop it.

Corruption in Israeli society has become particularly endemic after the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.  The idea that ordinary Israelis can move into a Palestinian house, evict the family, claim the house as their own, with the full support of the military, the government and the court, exemplifies moral corruption to the highest degree.

It was only a matter of time before this massive corruption racket – military occupation, the settlement enterprise, the media whitewashing of Israeli crimes - seeped back into mainstream Israeli society, which has become rotten to the core.

While Israelis might have 'gotten used' to their own corruption, Palestinians have not, because the price of Israel’s moral corruption is too high for them to bear.

* Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London). - ramzybaroud@gmail.com



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code


21 حزيران 2018   حال الإنقسام السياسي الفلسطيني..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

21 حزيران 2018   حال الإنقسام السياسي الفلسطيني..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

21 حزيران 2018   لنطلق صرخة بوجه الانقسام..! - بقلم: عباس الجمعة

21 حزيران 2018   مستقبل قطاع غزة: رؤية استشرافية..! - بقلم: حســـام الدجنــي

21 حزيران 2018   ثلاثة أهداف لفريق "الصفقة النهائية"..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم


20 حزيران 2018   الزيارة الفاشلة سلفا..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

20 حزيران 2018   الانقسام وشماعة العقوبات على غزة..! - بقلم: د. إبراهيم أبراش

20 حزيران 2018   حتى لا تنحرف البوصلة..! - بقلم: محسن أبو رمضان


20 حزيران 2018   "السرايا" على درب "المنارة"..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم

20 حزيران 2018   العالم ينقلب من حولنا..! - بقلم: د. أماني القرم

19 حزيران 2018   تنفيذ قرار الحماية الدولية للشعب الفلسطيني..! - بقلم: د. هاني العقاد

19 حزيران 2018   مثل استهداف انسان بصاروخ وتمزيق جسده..! - بقلم: مصطفى إبراهيم


8 حزيران 2018   ..هكذا خسر قطاع غزة أكثر من 40% من مساحته..! - بقلم: وسام زغبر







31 اّذار 2017   41 سنة على يوم الأرض: تماسك الفقراء - بقلم: بسام الكعبي




27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


21 أيار 2018   رسالــــــة.. إنك تحرثين روحي - بقلم: فراس حج محمد

20 أيار 2018   حكواتي.. في رمضان قديم - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

20 أيار 2018   ورحل "حارس التراث الفلسطيني" الباحث نمر سرحان - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

6 أيار 2018   حول القراءة ومظاهرها غير الثّقافيّة..! - بقلم: فراس حج محمد



8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2018- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية