Even if Ehud Olmert were a successful prime minister, we would tell him: Ehud, go home. Go, and take care of your own interests as you like to do; that's what you do well. But to be both unsuccessful and tainted - that's really too much. Listen: The time has come to put a stop to this.
Now the Income Tax Authority is also shrouded in heavy suspicions, and is pouring acid rain on the entire country. The tax collectors are held in high esteem, and if they fall and bring others down, then all hope is lost. If they are found to be corrupt, it's like finding pedophiles in a kindergarten.
We have also become tired of those who cry, "we are tired of all you corrupt people." They are burned out from overuse, and are in need of a serious shaking. Blaming large numbers of people blurs the picture. Because there are so many corrupt people, we fail to spot the corrupt individual.
Beware of people who are acquitted repeatedly, who then become the source of iniquity. Olmert has already been acquitted twice in his life, and he has two certificates of integrity in his pocket: Once he received a loan without interest; and once he signed a false report presenting fictitious invoices to the state comptroller. The Likud had two signatory treasurers at the time. One was tried and convicted, and the second, Olmert, was acquitted of the same crime; he claimed absentmindedness due to hard work.
In the affair of the Greek Island, he came out clean, although the head of his bureau then and now, Shula Zaken, was secretly recorded and was heard asking for a donation from the big donor, David Appel. And he, for his part, made a small request of her, that the mayor of Jerusalem invite the mayor of Athens, and five days later the diligent Zaken was already sending out the invitation.
Regarding community leaders like Olmert, our sages say: Tell me who your friend is, etc. On the one side of the gang are sincere people who testify to one's integrity. On the other side are shady characters such as Shlomi Oz, the head of Ehud Olmert's Gush Dan campaign headquarters; and Benny Tavin, another lifelong friend, who is now standing trial with Appel for incidents of bribery in Lod.
And on the third side - there are so many sides, so many faces - are the wealthy in Israel and abroad, wolves in sheep's clothing, who come to Israel to donate and to benefit from the country. And on the fourth side, from the four corners of the earth blows the ill wind, the advisers and assistants who understand their boss' soul. They will do anything for him, and a little bit for themselves. They will lie down on the barricades and the boss will storm the barricades, will pass through, as though he is not familiar with those lying under his feet; what does he have in common with them? His assistants are the fingers that do the walking for him, and he won't leave a fingerprint.
And at this very time, at least another three cases are ticking away, awaiting the explosion. The case of the Investment Center, which is pending against Olmert and his former partner, attorney Uri Messer; the Bank Leumi case, which raises a possible suspicion of bias in a tender, for the donors' benefit, and the case of the Small Business Authority, which during Olmert's term in the Industry and Trade Ministry was like a supplier of tailor-made jobs. And we haven't even mentioned the transactions involving Olmert's private homes, which were bought and sold at a profit.
That is the portrait of the prime minister of Israel as an arrogant, hasty and careless man. And we are already sick and tired of the suspicions and the investigations, the open and closed files, and even of the acquittals. This poor country is rotting and is crying "help!". And its citizens are looking on in disbelief: It cannot be, they're saying, that we have become so weak and impoverished; it cannot be that there is not a single decent person around who is worthy of assuming leadership; it cannot be that the 2,000-year-old-hope has landed on the doorstep of Olmert, of all people.
We no longer have "big eyes," and we don't have particularly high expectations. We have already given up on a "clever," "intelligent" and "experienced" prime minister. All we want is a person who is unsullied and unstained; is that something unattainable? Is that too much to ask?
In the tender for the next prime minister, only one requirement need appear: Wanted: a clean candidate, and not only ostensibly so.
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