Whitewashing Criminal Fraud
Israel is as corrupt as America.
by Stephen Lendman
Wall Street crooks walk away free every time. So do their London counterparts and other corporate bosses.
Crime pays so why not commit it. The only penalty is nasty headlines for a few days and minor slap on the wrist fines or admonishments about promising no repeats. At least not until next week.
Most politicians also get off easy, and not just in America.
In August 2009, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted in three corruption cases. They related to Rishon Tours as well as the Talansky and Investment Center affairs. More on them below.
On January 5, 2012, he and 17 others were indicted for allegedly giving or receiving bribes related to various real estate deals.
He was charged with taking bribes worth 1.5 million NISs (Israeli New Shekels).
The so-called Holyland case made headlines. It's a Jerusalem luxury housing project. Olmert was city mayor at the time. Later he was Israel Land Administration minister.
On January 8, a Haaretz editorial headlined "Holyland corruption case is a fight for Israel's soul," saying:
"The Israeli entire public must reject corruption and remove those stained by it from government."
The Holyland complex "emerge(d) as an extravagant memorial to municipal corruption, riches to entrepreneurs, fringe benefits to elected officials, and kickbacks to go-betweens."
In other words, it was business as usual for crooked profiteers and complicit politicians. Haaretz called the case "a watershed in the way the public relates to the conduct of government."
Whether those indicted are convicted or exonerated, "the system....will find it hard to present a defense...."