In his private life, Netanyahu is being investigated for receiving for a long time cases of the most expensive Cuban cigars from super-rich "friends," for whom he provided some services. Sarah'le is investigated for receiving, on demand, a regular supply of very expensive pink champagne from another billionaire, whom she also asked to buy her jewelry.
THIS ENTIRE atmosphere of public and private corruption at the top of the state is very much removed from our past. It is something new, reflecting the Netanyahu era.
One could not even imagine anything like this in the times of David Ben-Gurion. His son, Amos, was implicated in some affairs which my magazine exposed, but nothing even remotely resembling this.
Menachem Begin lived for many years as an MK in the same two-room apartment where he had hidden as the most wanted terrorist in British Palestine. Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres all lived in modest circumstances.
Public humor calls Netanyahu "king" and even "emperor" and speaks of the "royal family." Why?
One reason is certainly the time factor. Netanyahu is now in his fourth term of office. That is much too much.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton remarked. One can replace "absolute" with "long-term."
A person in power is surrounded by temptations, flatterers, corruptors, and as time goes by, his resistance wanes. That, alas, is human.
After the endless presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a relatively honest and effective chief executive, the American people did something extremely wise: it limited a president to two terms. I also have come to the conclusion that eight years is exactly right.
(That applies to myself, too. I was a Member of Parliament for 10 years. In retrospect I have drawn the conclusion that eight years should have been enough. During my last two years I was less enthusiastic, less combative)
I DON'T hate Binyamin Netanyahu, as many Israelis do. He does not really interest me as a person. But I believe that he is a danger to the future of Israel. His obsession with clinging to power makes him sell out our national interests to interest groups, not just to billionaires but also to the corrupt religious establishment and many others.
Such a man is unable to make peace, even if he wanted to. Making peace demands strength of character, like taking the risk of being overthrown. Such audacity does not even enter Netanyahu's mind.
Tell me who your son is, and I'll tell you who you are.
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