Saturday, February 26, 2005

Column One: And justice for some

In Caroline Glick's latest article in the Jerusalem Post, she begins her piece on some wonky goings on with Israel's Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz by letting loose this tidbit, which I hadn't read anyplace prior:

"Former prime minister Ehud Barak sent a jolt through the political system when on Monday he told a television interviewer: 'The Sharon family is corrupt to its very foundations, and in any other normal country, Sharon would have no longer been in power.' "

According to Glick, this is a rare outburst of dissent towards Sharon, who is seemingly getting a "pass" from most of his fellow politicians, countrymen and quite surprisingly -- the Israeli media.

"So here we have it, the watchdog of Israeli democracy, the Fourth Estate, is willfully ignoring one of its cardinal responsibilities – holding our public officials to standards of proper behavior in order to ensure the proper functioning of our government. And the media is behaving thus because apparently, the Powers That Be hate the Israeli communities in Gaza and northern Samaria more than they love the law."

Many of her points are rather disturbing. And there is the fact that since Sharon introduced the withdrawal plan, he has enjoyed heaps of praise from surprising quarters. Hell, he's even being told nice things by the "parent you can never please" -- the EU. But still there is that nagging feeling... how likely is it that Sharon is as corrupt as Barak suggests? Glick offers the following, about the money Sharon's son MK Omri Sharon, raised for his father's 1999 campaign:

" strains credulity to believe that Sharon had no idea what his son was doing. NIS 6 million is a lot of money. Sharon has a reputation as a micro-manager. Is it reasonable to credit his statement that he never once asked his son where all this money had come from?"

Is this something that the country should be worrying about, in light of the huge undertaking that's happening with the peace process as well as disengagement? Is this something that can wait until after Sharon leaves office? Right now, it's not even a consideration because Mazuz doesn't feel there's enough evidence against the father Sharon. Glick points out a couple of other things she feels are missing from Mazuz's plate that he should be dealing with and yet there are things he is addressing that he shouldn't be bothering:

"The more independent the attorney-general has become from any political authority, the more politicized and less professional the office has become."

Seems like things are flying out of control. But Glick warns that you can't count on the fourth estate to sort it out. Seems the allure of disengagement has everyone willing to look the other way.

"In light of the fact that our media unabashedly admits to willingly surrendering professional standards for political purposes, the absence of a professional prosecution is all the more disturbing."

Israelis can't count on most of the media, but as long as Caroline Glick's around, at least there's someone trying to figure out the score.


At 6:34 AM, Blogger American On Line said...

Labor calling a Likud names; sounds like democracy to me!!

At 8:13 AM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Haha. Yes, it does sound exactly like democracy. I can never make sense out of all the claims and counterclaims, but of course scrutiny itself is always helpful in limiting corruption and abuse.

On the other hand, I can see why the Israeli press is concentrated on the current chances for improving the long-term prospects of an accord with the Palestinians. It's a first-things-first effort.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"parent you can never please"

That's a great line.

"Seems the allure of disengagement has everyone willing to look the other way."

Just like with Oslo.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

By the way. Your site is not opening up all of the way. I think you need to republish or something.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Esther said...

LOL Marty.
MoM, I get the whole first-things-first idea. I was wondering that too but I'm not sure how great an idea that is because of what Gindy has said about Oslo. It does feel like peace at any cost. My boyfriend likens it to a guy trying to close the deal with a gal he's met in a bar. She can say the most hidious things near the end and he doesn't care cause he just wants to get laid (and no, that's not to give you insight into our relationship--haha).

Gindy, I republished (and glad you liked the line!). Did that help? I only keep like 5 days' worth of posts or so on my main page.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Wow. Ehud tore Arik a new one. Yes, it definitely sounds like a democracy, Marty—good call!

But dang, that is some seriously vituperative talk!


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