I couldn’t help rubbing my eyes in disbelief at the joyful celebrations which greeted former premier Ehud Olmert’s acquittal in two corruption cases and the simultaneous belittling of his conviction on a third – what his cheerleaders portrayed as the “minor” matter of breach of trust.
I couldn’t help wondering whether the same reactions could have been remotely conceivable had the defendant been named Binyamin Netanyahu.
I vividly recalled when the “breach of trust” innuendo was hurled accusingly at Netanyahu, not after a courtroom verdict but after the prosecution admitted it had no case to at all take to trial. That in no way prevented a raging tempest from ominously swirling around Netanyahu.
In diametrical discrepancy to the Olmert phenomenon, there were no orchestrated (or other) compunctions about attempts to bring down a serving prime minister at the outset of his term. Nobody dared suggest adoption of the French law which shields PMs in office from investigation and prosecution. In fact, keeping Netanyahu from his weighty duties was deemed a laudable objective.
If anything, the prevailing bon ton dictated that it was a darn shame Bibi wasn’t hauled off to court, summarily tried, convicted and ignominiously booted out. To hear trendsetters, that was what he deserved because the prosecutors, who estimated that they didn’t have the goods on him, nevertheless rebuked him for supposed intentions which they admitted they couldn’t prove. That alone sufficed to pillory Netanyahu.
And woe to anyone who dared not toe the line. Continue reading