sabato 28 maggio 2016

Akiva Eldar : gli Israeliani si sono abituati a politici corrotti ?

Sintesi personale

La  relazione del controllore di stato israeliano contro presunti doni e conflitti di interesse illeciti - la cosiddetta Bibi Tours vicenda - non dovrebbe essere una sorpresa. Esaminando il finanziamento dei  viaggi all'estero del  primo ministro Benjamin Netanyahu e della sua famiglia tra il 2003 e il 2005,  come capo dell'opposizione e poi come ministro delle finanze, si evidenzia un quadro edonista, spudorato di  sfruttamento. Inoltre  si evidenzia come  già da allora Sara Netanyahu  aveva assunto i manierismi della regalità, a scapito delle casse pubbliche.

Nel 1950 il Mapai , precursore del partito laburista, pose fine alla  carriera di Eliezer Livneh, membro del primo e del secondo Knesset, per aver osato costruire una villa su un terreno di 2.700 piedi quadrati in un oscuro quartiere di Gerusalemme . Nel mese di aprile del 1977 un conto in dollari aperto dalla moglie di Yitzhak Rabin negli Stati Uniti, in violazione della legge israeliana,  bloccò la carriera del marito come primo ministro e leader del partito laburista. Poco prima , nel gennaio 1977, il ministro Housing Avraham Ofer  si uccise  quando la polizia  cominciò a indagare su tangenti da lui accettate . "Sono calunnie  e diffamazione", Ofer scrisse prima del  suicidio  "Ma io non posso sopportare questo più a lungo."
Così la denuncia  di corruzione pose fine al governo di Mapai nonostante il contributo del partito per l'indipendenza israeliana del 1948  Nel 1980, il capo dello Shin Bet, Avraham Shalom,  fu licenziato  per aver cercato di nascondere l'uccisione di  due dirottatori del bus.
L'ex primo ministro Ehud Olmert è in carcere  L'ex ministro ed ex-galeotto Aryeh Deri è  ora  al  ministero degli Interni   dopo  essere condannato per frode circa 22 anni fa. Shas di Deri, sei membri della Knesset sono stati condannati per illeciti penali, ha vinto sette seggi  nelle elezioni del marzo 2015.Ora nella  Knesset vi sono   cinque membri dello  Yisrael Beitenu,  sospettati di corruzione. Al ministero dello  Welfare siede Haim Katz, sotto indagine da parte della polizia con l'accusa di insider trading. Avigdor Lieberman  che ha difeso il militare che ha ucciso un palestinese mortalmente ferito,  sta diventando  ministro della difesa.
Di seguito sono riportate alcune frasi selezionate scritte nel 2012 dal procuratore generale Yehuda Weinstein, su  Liberman , l'uomo che ora supervisiona  un bilancio della difesa di miliardi di shekel e sarà autorizzato  a firmare contratti di enorme rilevanza economica : "una società israeliana, registrata a nome di sua figlia, ha ricevuto una fortuna in pagamenti  non connessi al business di tali imprese e ,  presumibilmente, non dati in cambio dei servizi resi. ... . ... Al fine di nascondere il  suo controllo sulla società e di esserne beneficiario, Liberman ha  scritto   un rapporto fraudolento da inviare alla banca in violazione della legge che vieta il riciclaggio di denaro  Inutile dire che la chiusura di un'indagine penale per mancanza di prove sufficienti non costituisce un certificato di integrità pubblica e non può assolutamente cancellare le domande poste ."
Migliaia  di israeliani hanno votato  questo uomo nella Knesset.ed è stato scelto daNetanyahu come Ministro della Difesa. Non meraviglia quindi che Israele sia  classificato al  32 °posto  nelle Corruption Perceptions Index - dopo il Qatar, Botswana e gli Emirati Arabi Uniti  e entri anche nella classifica   dell'OCSE 
Il primo ministro ha qualcosa in comune con Liberman. Anche lui è stato tenuto fuori di prigione per " mancanza di prove ",dal Procuratore Generale Elyakim Rubinstein nel settembre 2000. Era sospettato   di  aver accettato favori illegittimi da un imprenditore e di aver conservato regali costosi di proprietà dello Stato . Il procuratore ha descritto un "quadro cupo di quanto avvenuto nell'ufficio del primo ministro. " La composizione del nuovo governo, la relazione del controllore di stato sulla vicenda Bibi Tours e l'assenza di proteste sono un segno che ormai gli Israeliani non considerano più importante l 'onestà e l'integrità .ed hanno  la pelle di  un elefante 



Have Israelis grown accustomed to corrupt politicians?

The contents of the Israeli state comptroller’s report on alleged illicit gifts and conflicts of interest — the so-called Bibi Tours affair — should not come as a surprise. Examining the funding of trips abroad by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family between 2003 and 2005, when he served as head of the opposition and later as finance minister, the report paints a picture of the same hedonistic, shameless and exploitive Netanyahu who had proudly marched into the prime minister's residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street 20 years ago, in 1996. It is also the same Sara Netanyahu who even then had already assumed the mannerisms of royalty at the expense of the public coffers.
SummaryPrint Honesty and integrity are passé in Israel, where citizens have gotten used to politicians being corrupt.
Author
TranslatorRuti Sinai
What should most concern every Israeli and anyone else who fears for the character of the state, if not for its fate, are not new revelations about corruption by elected officials. Their primary source of concern should be Israel’s steady climb in the corruption index along with its decline in the shame index. The second source is the degradation of its checks and balances, i.e., attorneys general and state comptrollers who drag their feet in rooting out suspected corruption.
In the 1950s, the ruling Mapai, precursor of the Labor Party, ended the career of Eliezer Livneh, a member of the first and second Knessets, for daring to build himself a villa on a 2,700-square-foot plot in an obscure Jerusalem neighborhood. In April 1977, a dollar account opened by Yitzhak Rabin’s wife in the United States, in violation of Israeli law, ended his first stint as prime minister and as leader of the Labor Party. Shortly before that, in January 1977, Housing Minister Avraham Ofer took his own life after police launched an investigation into allegations that he had accepted bribes. “Everything is slander and libel,” Ofer wrote in a suicide note he left in his car. “But I cannot bear it any longer.”
Thus, the exposure of corrupt activity by Israel’s top leadership brought Mapai's rule to an end, after having led the country in one form or another since independence in 1948. In the 1980s, the head of Shin Bet, Avraham Shalom, was dismissed after trying to whitewash a probe into the execution of two bus hijackers. What about corruption these days?
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is serving jail time. Former Minister and ex-convict Aryeh Deri has returned to the scene of the crime — the Interior Ministry, which he had headed before being convicted of fraud some 22 years ago. Deri's Shas movement, six of whose Knesset members have been convicted of criminal wrongdoing, won seven Knesset seats in the March 2015 elections. The 20th Knesset is also graced by the presence of five elected members of Yisrael Beitenu, whose best and brightest are embroiled in suspicions of corruption. At the helm of the Welfare Ministry sits Haim Katz, a man worth millions and three apartments, who is under police investigation on suspicion of insider trading. Avigdor Liberman, who has come out in support of the soldier videotaped shooting to death a wounded Palestinian lying immobile on the ground on March 24, is marching to work these days into the defense minister’s office.
The following are a few select sentences written in 2012 by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in announcing that he would be closing his investigation into Liberman, the man who will now oversee a defense budget of billions of shekels and will be authorized to sign off on huge weapons deals: “An Israeli firm registered in his daughter’s name received a fortune in payments, some of them unconnected to the business of those firms and which allegedly were not in return for services rendered. … From Michal’s (Liberman’s daughter) statements, it appears that she had no concrete knowledge of the consultation with which he [Liberman] was provided. … In order to conceal his control of the company and being its beneficiary, Liberman caused a fraudulent report to be sent to the bank in violation of the law banning money laundering.”
In explaining his decision to shut down the investigation, Weinstein pointed out that a daughter cannot testify against her father, that two central witnesses had passed away one after the other, and an additional witness — a resident of Russia whose testimony could have shed significant light on the affair — had not been located. “Given the evidence pointing to Liberman’s alleged involvement in the companies and his improper affiliation with them, significant questions and puzzles remain,” Weinstein wrote. “Needless to say, the closing of a criminal investigation due to lack of sufficient evidence does not constitute a certificate of public integrity and cannot totally erase the impression of these conundrums.”
Once upon a time, a politician sporting such a mark of Caine wouldn't have ventured out of his house. Last year, tens of thousands of Israelis left their house to vote this man into the Knesset. In fact, one should not be surprised that this can of worms did not prevent the prime minister from appointing Liberman as defense minister a few days ago. In a country with only a modicum of sensitivity to official corruption, Netanyahu himself would not dare to poke his head out of his private villa in Caesarea. Not so in a country ranked 32nd in the Corruption Perceptions Index — after Qatar, Botswana and the United Arab Emirates — and in the bottom third of OECD member states in terms of corruption.
The prime minister has something in common with Liberman. He, too, was kept out of jail by “lack of an evidentiary basis,” as determined by Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein in September 2000. Indeed, Netanyahu, too, received a harsh public indictment from an attorney general. Rubinstein ended up closing the case against Netanyahu — based on suspicions that during his first term as prime minister, Netanyahu had accepted illegal favors from a contractor and kept expensive gifts that were the property of the state — but he also described a “grim picture of a very severe failure in the office of the prime minister.” In the conclusion of his opinion, the man whom Netanyahu had put in office wrote that he hoped Israelis would feel in the future that their “servants are not their masters and that they are carrying out their duties with honesty and integrity.”
In the 15 years since Rubinstein penned those lines, Israelis have chosen Netanyahu to serve them in leading the country three consecutive times. The composition of the new government, the state comptroller’s report on the Bibi Tours affair and the absence of protest are a sign that the public has gotten used to being the servant of its servants. Honesty and integrity are passé.
Many years ago, Reuven Rivlin, Israel's current president, asked me half-jokingly whether I had heard that hunters in Africa had captured an elephant with “Bibi” (meaning “thick/impenetrable”) skin. That Netanyahu still resides on Balfour Street indicates that Israeli society, too, has followed its leader and grown the skin of an elephant.





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