Why We Support Israel, Corruption and All
Monday, January 13, 2003
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
As the Israeli elections loom large on the horizon, Ariel Sharon's Likud Party is taking it on the chin for a number of highly-publicized corruption probes. One, involving a million and a half dollars leads directly to Ariel Sharon.
A report published in Ha'aretz revealed that police and Justice Ministry investigators were looking into suspicions of bribery, fraud and breach of trust surrounding Sharon and his two sons.
The allegations came to light when the Justice Ministry wrote its South African counterpart to ask for help in tracing a money trail of loans that were used to fulfil an order by State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg, who in October, 2001 ordered the prime minister to repay millions of shekels in illegal contributions to Sharon's victorious campaign for Likud leadership more than two years before.
The revelations followed a swirl of vote-buying investigations stemming from last month's Likud primary elections, which had left a studiously statesmanlike Sharon largely untouched, but which had already sapped the strength of the Likud in opinion polls by some 25 percent.
Surveys taken before the Likud primary said the party could win as many as 41 Knesset seats, which would have been the best showing of any party for more than a decade. By this week - even before news of the loan affair seized the political landscape, polls foresaw the Likud taking just 31 or 32 seats in the 120-seat house.
In a world filled to overflowing with two-bit, low-life chiseling dictators, most of whose names change too quickly to memorize, it is hard to find a story about internal corruption. Try it.
See how much detail is available into the minutiae of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, for example. Let me know if you can find out anything about his children, let alone their financial secrets.
Here's what I was able to find out about Ariel Sharon. Sharon tried to mortgage his ranch, worth quite a few shekels, evidently. The problem was that, because of Israel´s socialist land nationalization system, the ranch is on land "leased" from the Israel Lands Authority.
Even though the ranch is worth serious money, technically Sharon could not borrow against it to get the cash.
So he went to a friend, borrowed a million and a half dollars, (which he owed to his election campaign) and had his two sons, both aspiring politicians, take care of the paperwork.
So the whole case in the Israeli press has to do with the fact that the Sharons took out a bridge loan from an old friend of Ariel Sharon, to obey the State Comptroller´s order.
Sharon's friend and benefactor, Londoner Cyril Kern has no business interests in Israel and, therefore, was clearly not being nice to gain some sort of corrupt favors or patronage from Sharon.
And, as it happens, the loan was repaid -- in full and with interest.
Corruption? Or politics? Certainly, by US standards, this is squeaky clean, no matter if you tripled everything and padded the voter lists with dead people.
(In a hot Alabama recount contest following Election 2002, one candidate claimed victory based on a vote margin that exceeded the number of registered voters of both parties for the entire precinct)
But that's not the point. This isn't about defending Ariel Sharon politically. I have no dog in this fight.
I noted, particularly in the British press, dark undertones of old libels, you know, 'corruption = Jew' and that kind of thing. Or inevitable references to the Sabra massacres in which Christian Phalanges under Sharon's overall command massacred Palestinian refugees -- references that are clumsily reworked in order to make them appear relevant.
I noted that there was a sort of glee on the part of the world press as they sniffed and pointed out Israeli corruption as justification for why they oppose western support for the Jewish State.
They don't get it. Of course, many of these are the same liberal airheads who believe that Saddam can be disarmed and rehabilitated, so it is unsurprising.
While more than willing to ignore regimes built entirely upon and supported exclusively by corruption, such as most of the dictatorships of the Arab world, to most of the world's press, particularly the European press, this simply proves what they have preached all along -- that the Israelis are corrupt oppressors and the Palestinians are simply victims of Israeli corruption . . yada, yada, ad nauseaum, etc. and so forth.
The fact is, Israel, like America has some corruption in government. But like America, (and unlike every state surrounding Israel) Israel can never BE corrupt.
Because, like the United States, Israel is a free country. That is what preserves it. Like the United States, Israel believes individual rights are granted by God and cannot be rescinded by the state -- even during times of emergency.
Israel is fighting a war of survival at this moment, yet I obtained all this information from the Israeli press.
Ariel Sharon is the most powerful man in Israel during a time of extreme emergency. But he remains accountable to his own people, who come armed with information freely obtained from an unrestrained media.
It was this principle that caused the Berlin Wall to topple and crumbled the mighty Soviet Union. Not just 'democracy', as is so often cited, but FREEDOM of the sort no government can grant. It is unique in the world.
The UN Charter of Rights and Freedoms lists the rights granted world citizens by the UN. Each 'right' is appended to the effect that 'no person can exercise these rights in a manner contrary to the expressed aims and purposes of the UN' -- in other words, what the UN gives, the UN can take away.
Canadian Christians already know they get their rights from the Meech Lake Accords, not God. They've seen them amended away as needed. Citizens of Europe, the UK, and the individual states are all granted rights under political documents negotiated between citizen and state.
America had no such problem, since the 'self-evident truths' of Creation provided no room for negotiation. Rights are granted by God, and therefore, freedom is not conditional on the 'expressed aims and purposes' of the state.
Israel has the same basic Truth, and is therefore also the only other truly FREE country on the face of the earth -- the threat of imminent death from terrorists trying to undermine that freedom notwithstanding.
That is the reason that America and Israel compete for Most Hated Nation status -- their God-granted freedoms are invulnerable to human attack.
From terrorists -- or from their own politicians.
That Israel has corrupt politicians does not mean Israel is corrupt. It means it CAN'T be. If it didn't, then I'd start to wonder.
(In contrast, Iraq doesn't have ANY corrupt politicians. I read that at an Arab news site).
The fact that I can sit right here in my office and read all about it from the Israeli press is more than proof of shared values and principles.
It is proof-positive of the Power of the God we share.
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