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Petty Corruption

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The Israeli public laps it all up. No one seems to get angry. Jokes abound about the "royal couple."

For many of Netanyahu's own voters, mostly poor people of Oriental Jewish origin, the disclosures only show that he is a clever person, who knows how to exploit opportunities, as they themselves would love to do.

HOW TO treat these disclosures, which dominate so many TV news programs and newspaper headlines?

I must admit that I treat them with some disdain. What are these instances of petty corruption compared to Netanyahu's actions and non-actions which have a direct influence of the fate of Israel?

I consider Binyamin Netanyahu as the grave-digger of our state, the man who sets the course towards catastrophe, the man who obstructs any chance for peace. Just this week Netanyahu proudly told his party colleagues that he will "never" agree to conduct negotiations based on the Arab 2002 peace initiative, which includes the end of the occupation, the setting up of the State of Palestine and the evacuation of settlements. Many people believe that this refusal is fatal.

Facing these calamities, why get excited about some little corruption?

But then I remember the case of Al Capone, the gangster who was responsible for huge crimes, including the cold-blooded murder of many people, but who was finally convicted and sent to prison only for income tax evasion.

If Netanyahu can be convicted of petty corruption and compelled to resign -- isn't that just what the country needs?

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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