Is Israel’s Likud Government Institutionally Corrupt?

Apparently so, in view of the documented record in the public domain.

Perhaps it is because, in a majority of cases, the incumbent of the Knesset’s high office has had no history or professional experience of public service, diplomacy or government.  They were all, predominately, male and either former soldiers or ex militiamen, many of Polish or Russian origin whose experience lay in using force when necessary to gain territory with the strategy of ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples in land they wished to annex. They include:

Golda Meir, born in Kiev, the only female Prime Minister of Israel, was Foreign Secretary at the time of the disastrous Suez Crisis in 1956, when Israel, after secretly colluding with Britain and France to illegally re-gain control of Egypt’s Suez Canal, was humiliated by the US and the UN who demanded their immediate withdrawal. Her co-conspirator, British Conservative prime Minister, Anthony Eden, as a consequence, later died in ignominy, a broken man. 

Menachem Begin, former prime Minister, born in Brest, was originally the leader of the Irgun Zvi Leumi, a terrorist militia involved in fighting Britain, the UN appointed mandate holder for Palestine. Irgun’s most notorious attack was the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 91 and injuring many others.

Yitzhak Shamir, Russian born former prime minister. Leader of LEHI, the so-called Stern Gang militia, was responsible, together with the Irgun, for the massacre of the entire Palestinian village of Deir Yassin on April 9th., 1948.

Arial Sharon, born Scheinermann, former prime Minister, was defence minister and held by the court to be personally responsible for the 1982 massacre of an estimated 2000 Muslim civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by a Christian militia under his control. He was forced to resign.

Ehud Olmert, former prime Minister, was found guilty of bribery and corruption and sentenced to 19 months imprisonment in 2016.

Moshe Katsav, Iranian-born, former president of Israel was found guilty of two counts of rape and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, in 2011.

Binyamin Netanyahu, current prime minister, and his wife, Sara, are currently both under investigation into serious allegations of bribery and fraud.  The decision of the attorney-general is awaited as to whether official charges will be made and the Netanyahu family indicted. In any event, his career as Prime Minister is, almost certainly, at an end.

Should the next Israeli prime minister suffer from similar character flaws as the majority of his, of her, predecessors, then the international community needs to take appropriate action to properly defend its individual national security and its respective constituents from a political contamination that is the antithesis of democratic government.

Israel politicians tend to be of advantage only to themselves and their own families as, time and again over recent years, they have proved the adage that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

However, this was not true initially.  The first Prime Minister of Israel, from 1948- 1954, was a man of undoubted integrity, David Ben Gurion: a graduate of the Universities of Warsaw and Istanbul.  He was a socialist of high moral principles who, unlike the current hard-Right Likud Zionist regime, fully recognised that the indigenous Palestinian people, who were displaced, nevertheless had a valid claim to the land.  He was posthumously named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the 20th century.

Which proves two points, the first is that not all Zionists are bad and the second is that there is a huge difference between those who eat a smoked salmon bagel with a glass of lemon tea, on a kibbutz in Israel, and those who gobble down their lobster Thermidor with a bottle of Scotch in the occupied West Bank, whilst checking the dollar balance of their family’s foreign-currency bank account in New York.


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Articles by: Hans Stehling

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