Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday morning to six years in prison on bribery charges in the biggest corruption scandal in Israel's history. Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for expediting the permit process for the Holyland real estate development while he was mayor of the city, years before his premiership. The sentencing comes 10 years after the state began its investigation. Olmert, who was acquitted of similar charges in a different case, had held out hope for a return to politics if he were acquitted in this case, too. Olmert is planning on appealing the court's decision. Olmert…Read More... | 35 Comments
If a militant nationalist wants to get elected prime minister of Israel, he has to repeat the word 'peace' over and over. Unlike a lot of other leftists in despair over Liberman's acquittal on Wednesday, I don't think it's a foregone conclusion he's going to succeed Netanyahu as prime minister. I agree that he may do it, it's definitely a possibility, but first he has a problem to overcome: as a candidate, he's scary to a lot of Israelis, maybe most Israelis, especially women. On the "Eretz Nehederet" ("Wonderful Country") TV news satire, he's portrayed as a KGB liquidator.…Read More... | 4 Comments
The man who has become the symbol of ultra-nationalist trends and anti-democratic legislation is cleared of corruption charges, allowing his return to helm of the Foreign Ministry, which Netanyahu has been holding for him. Former – and most likely soon-to-be-reinstated – foreign minister Avigdor Liberman was acquitted of all charges stemming from a years-long corruption investigation on Wednesday. The move paves the way for his return to the helm of the Foreign Ministry, from which he resigned when he was indicted last December. Less than an hour after the acquittal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who merged political party lists with…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israel's foreign minister will soon be able to put his legal troubles behind him. He will then renew his quest for the premiership from a much more favorable position. Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced yesterday (Friday) that he will resign from his cabinet position due to the attorney general's decision to try him for breach of trust. Lieberman will still be the second name on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu list for the elections, due to take place on January 22. This is a major step in Lieberman's effort to solve the most troubling aspect of his political career, namely,…Read More... | 11 Comments
This is one of the rare days when all four of the Israeli dailies lead with completely different headlines. Haaretz leads with Netanyahu's trip to the United States; the PM is "set to discuss a package of benefits in exchange for extending the temporary settlement freeze." Senior administration officials slovenly remind his highness that the benefits are still on the table. This, in a nutshell, is Obama's "tough love" for Israel: When the carrot doesn't work, try... more carrots. Haaretz notes in passing the PM's flight will cost us taxpayer one million dollars. Other headlines of interest include the police…Read More...
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