Comments on Corruption in Israel: Present and Past
Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman
Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon found in every country, but at various levels. Politicians who rent their conscience to the higher bidder may sell out the national interest and sometimes national security, for a material gain. This is the worst kind of political prostitution. Corruption in governments retards economic growth and when it reaches extreme levels, lawlessness fills the gap leading to the very demise of the political state. Many nation states bit the dust because of their state of extreme corruption.
In order to nip the bud of corruption from its very roots, law enforcement agencies in Israel are now targeting very high profile cases in which Israeli high-ranking leaders are being indicted and sentenced to spend a very humiliating time in jail. Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was sentenced in 2011 to seven years in jail for sexually molesting a number of females working in his office. Also, former prime minister of Israel Ehud Olmert was recently sentenced to eight months in jail for accepting bribes in return for political favors. The Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and wife are now under two separate investigations related to corruption.
In another major incident that alarmed the Israeli public was a corruption case in the Tax Authority where some officials were accused of bribery. The Authority’s head Jackie Matza and other officials were apprehended and later indicted in the case.
The octopus of corruption in Israel even extended its sticky tentacles to snarl in the Israeli military establishment, the security agencies and the religious sectors, as well. Some Rabbis from the extreme religious right, not only indulged themselves molesting young boys and girls in their custody, but branched out, way out, into the enterprise of money laundering helping themselves and the drug cartel in Colombia in Latin America. Rabbis indicted were receiving cash collected by millions from drugs sold on the streets of cities there which they declared as funds for charity from their religious members to be sent to Israel. Israeli banks wired the accounts of the drug cartel minus 8% commission!
Many Israeli researchers and observers are looking to pin- point the cause of why so many Israeli leaders and common people are falling feet over head in the deep pit of corruption when this phenomenon was seldom seen in the past during the early days of the Zionist state and its founding fathers. Former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir who while working as a school teacher in the United State collected millions of dollars in cash in the 1940s and used to transport them in her personal luggage to Palestine without one single dollar missing. A predecessor, Ben Groin collected more than $600 million in cash from Jewish millionaires to build the Israeli atomic bomb without misappropriating a single dollar in the process. He died in a Kibbutz without a dollar in his name.
Israelis are asking: What happened between then and now? Well, the answer is clear, but everyone is either in denial or sticking the head in the sand to avoid seeing the very ugly truth and reality of the present status of the Zionist entity. The BIG difference between now and then is that the Zionist project has deteriorated to the extent that it is no longer related to the original one of the founding fathers. The early Zionists were not religious and were extremely hated by some of the religious sectors who considered Zionism as a blasphemy against God because ‘only the Messiah is the one who is ordained to establish the State of Israel’ not Zionism. The early Zionists emptied Judaism from all its religious rituals and made it into a secular national identity. Those were more socialist than even the communists and totally shunned the hording of personal wealth. They established collective farms, the Kibbutzim with factories alongside that belonged to the community, not to any individual ownership. The early pioneers worked as farmers and factory workers for the common good of all and as soldiers, at the same, in a very selfless manner. They lived every word in President Kennedy’s statement: “Ask not what your country would do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
The instant Israeli victory in 1967 has aggrandized the super ego of ‘the chosen people of God’ and within ten years the Kibbutzim was privatized, a move that was followed by the migration of one and a half million Russians who hated the very notion of socialism. With the ascent of Likud as the ruling party, religious schools of the extreme right took over the education of Israeli youth instilling in their minds the hate and the vile of the Talmud toward non-Jews (known as price taggers) spawning the Israeli version of Daesh. The Attorney General of Israel promised the public recently “to drain out the stagnant swamp breeding the mosquito of corruption.” The first place he should drain is the religious schools that are now corrupting the souls and minds of Israeli youth.
The corruption of the human spirit, will spell disaster which always ends with the very demise of the state. It is normal to prosecute high officials for lining their pockets with bribes, but the very survival of any state depends on morality of its population. Israel is now producing a new generation that is racist and colonial, hell bent, on making Israel “a pure Jewish state “even by firebombing Palestinian homes in the middle of the night killing babies in their cribs.