Tuesday, July 26, 2005

When Vitamin P is not enough

Being the son of the Prime Minister hasn't saved Omri Sharon from being indicted by Attorney General Meni Mazuz on charges of being connected to illegal political fundraising.

Upon hearing the charges, Sharon did the decent thing and requested that his parliamentary immunity be stripped although new legislation means that this would have been a formality for the AG to arrange had he not done so.

According to Ynetnews.com, Sharon has all but come clean:

"Sharon criticized the restrictiveness of the law, saying that it was never put into practice and that "I am the one and only to be tried for violating it."

Yet he added, "Yes, while working on my fathers' election campaign in 1999, I did not hold by the restrictions of the Parties Law, and I am ready to face justice. I will argue my case before the court that sits in judgment of me."
The Jerusalem Post reports that:

"In a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Sharon responded by saying that "running primaries in which hundreds of thousands of people take part requires an enormous financial expense. The amount of money allowed by law totally ignores this reality."

He added that the spending cap set by law did not allow candidates to run a reasonable campaign, and about ten times as much was actually needed."
These comments reflect some common unpleasant attitudes in Israeli society; first and foremost that if a person considers a law to be stupid or wrong, then they are somehow justified in breaking it - the law doesn't allow for sufficient funds to run a primary therefore it can be ignored - it is an attitude that we frequently witness most obviously on the roads and with the no smoking laws; secondly the fact that Sharon considers himself the target of "being picked on" - the laws weren't put into practice (until now) and why then should he be the one to be made an example of?

Sharon's statement that he "did not hold by the restrictions of the Parties Law" is effectively an admission of guilt. The Judicial System will now be scrutinised to make sure that justice is carried out in a manner appropriate to any Israeli citizen - without reference to his standing and connections.



Liza said...

It's along the same lines of the Israeli attitude of not wanting to be perceived as being a "friar" (being taken advantage of, for all you non-Hebrew speakers, not an actual friar, of course).

Michael Lawrence said...

There was a great article somewhere on the Israeli news websites about 'being a friar' and how in fact the whole concept is starting to destroy Israeli society - in that, you're a friar if you stand in queue, you're a friar if you pay your taxes fully, you're a friar if you (in the words of the writer) leave Gaza wihout first demolishing the Palestinian infrastructure.
I wouldn't necessarily agree with the sentiments of the last friar example, but nonetheless, the friar thing bothers me and Omri Sharon clearly did what he felt an Israeli has to do - cheat to get ahead. Shame...