Lieberman's Trial Begins
He's a criminal. He belongs in prison, not government.
He's an ultranationalist extremist. He represents the worst of Israel's lunatic right-wing fringe. He matches Netanyahu's zealotry. He out-Sharon's Sharon.
He's a latter day Kahanist. In 1988, Israel outlawed his Kach party. It was the first Jewish organization in decades to be called a "threat to national security."
It's resurrected writ large. Lieberman represents Israel's true face. He and majority Israeli hardliners reflect a cancer in the body politic. They're an abomination. They consider Muslims subhuman. They deplore democratic freedoms.
They prioritize persecution, violence and state terror. They legitimize institutionalized racism. They practice it in its worst form. They promote Arab hatred. They spurn rule of law principles.
Lieberman belongs in prison, not government. He's partly sidelined. He's been investigated for years. In August 2009, police gave prosecutors clear evidence of fraud, bribery, money laundering, embezzlement, and obstructing justice.
In May 2010, they recommended adding breach of trust. It was for receiving classified information about his criminal investigation. Doing so violated Israeli law.
In September 2001, he went on trial. He admitted assaulting a 12-year old boy. It was in December 1999. It was in the Nokdim settlement.
The child allegedly hit his son. Boys scrap with other kids often. Fathers seldom intervene violently. He was charged with assault and threatening a minor.
He was convicted. He copped a plea. He paid a small fine to avoid harsher punishment. He got off virtually scot-free.
Perhaps a repeat this time is likely. The fullness of time will tell. He's criminally indicted. Clear evidence shows he committed bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, obstruction of justice, breach of trust, and perhaps more.
In mid-December, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein dropped major charges. Fraud and breach of trust alone remained.
His day in court arrived. Haaretz explained serious reservations earlier. On December 25, it headlined "The prosecution's negligence over Lieberman," saying:
"Who in the prosecution will be held accountable for its flawed conduct throughout the entire Lieberman case?"
He evaded serious fraud and money laundering charges. Breach of trust involves rewarding former ambassador Ze'ev Ben Aryeh. It was done in return for services rendered. He revealed confidential legal information relating to Lieberman's case.