Monday, September 16, 2019 -
Print Edition


The following joke is sadly funny: “Today is 2,190 days, which is 314 weeks, which is 6 years of Olmert” — a parody on the counting of the Omer between Passover and the holiday of Shavuot, substituting the mathematical formula for  the jail sentence of former Jerusalem Mayor and Israel PM Ehud Olmert.

All kidding aside, how sad a day, or era, is this for Israel?

I keep hearing the conviction and sentencing of Olmert praised.

What a victory for Israel’s legal system!

How strong justice is in Israel!

Finally, a blow to government corruption!

An affirmation of the transparent, fair and responsible democracy that Israel is.

A message to power in Israel: Corruption will not be tolerated. And not only that. The sentence, the judge emphasized, is harsher precisely to highlight a failure in leadership by a public servant. In other words: No one is above the law.

Indeed, this ruling is a nod to Israel’s tightening of a system that has, at times, allowed things here and there to slip by. Checks and balances, ensuring squeaky clean financial decisions, were not always there.

“Proteksia,” they call it.

Everyone kind of knew that if you knew someone who knew someone on the municipal or state level, they could “somehow” help get you (for example) that extra or convoluted permit to, say, expand your apartment, against the laws in place.

The rest of this article is available in the May 16, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

Leave a Reply