Don't say you didn't know. You knew. You, Ehud Olmert's coddlers, knew that the prime minister was a nouveau riche who made his fortune during his years as a public servant. You, the people who form Olmert's circle of protection - who include senior journalists - knew that the prime minister is a lawyer who operates in the borderline dark-gray regions. You knew that back when he was a Likudnik, Olmert escaped by the skin of his teeth from the affair of the Likud's fake invoices. You knew that as mayor of Jerusalem, he regularly stayed in expensive hotel suites in distant climes. You knew that as minister of trade and industry, he finagled appointments and bestowed dubious benefits. You knew that as finance minister, he tried to sell Bank Leumi to one friend by means of another. You knew that he sold his house worth millions to a mystery corporation in the Virgin Islands. You knew about the pens. You knew about the paintings. You knew about the deceitful way of life led by the man you coddled into being prime minister.
Don't say you didn't know. You knew. Not about the criminal corruption, but about the public iniquity. Not about illegalities, but about improprieties. You did not know about the existence of Morris Talansky. You did not know that the prime minister was suspected of counting his cash in secret. But you surely suspected that for Olmert, Jerusalem's residents and Israel's citizens do not count. You knew that Ehud Olmert does not worship the rule of law and the rules of proper governance. You knew that the coddled one is an ambitious and unbridled politician.
Don't say you didn't know. You knew. You knew that you were willing to take from Olmert for two years what you would not put up with from Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu for two days. You knew you were protecting Olmert when he did exactly the same things for which you persecuted Likud Central Committee members and Shas party leaders. You knew that in order to enable and preserve Olmert's rule, you suspended your moral judgment. You knew that in order to coddle Olmert, you ceased doing your professional and civic duty. But as in every period of celestial eclipse, you lowered your eyes, plugged your ears. You did not want to know what you knew. You allowed Olmert to hypnotize you. You allowed Olmert to buddy-buddy you. You allowed Olmert to turn you into threads in the web he spun. You became Olmert's bulwark. You became Olmert's security detail. You made Olmert's era as prime minister possible.
Don't say you didn't know. You knew. But you thought that peace justified all. You thought that the fear of Bibi whitewashed everything. You thought that the war on the great corruption of the occupation made it kosher to turn a blind eye to suspicions of corruption in affairs like Cremieux Street, Bank Leumi and the Investment Center. In your pursuit of good, you fell for a deception. In the past you mocked Uri Dan, whom you considered Ariel Sharon's court scribbler. But you became Olmert's personal court.
Don't say you didn't know. You knew. There were, after all, a few who warned you. But you did not want to hear. You did not want anyone to hear. You destroyed the state comptroller. You vilified the accountant general. You patronized the handful of journalists who remained aloof and stood their contrary ground. You turned peace into the scoundrel's refuge and the scoundrel into the destroyer of peace.
The truth will soon become known. A band of determined officers, a brave state prosecutor, and a straight-as-an-arrow attorney general will get the job done. Even those who have not grasped the situation until now will come to realize that we are enduring a dark age. When that day comes, the question will be asked: What happened here? Part of the answer will be laid at your door, dear senior journalists. You knew and you kept quiet. Even now, you are keeping quiet.
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