The justices of the Supreme Court ruled a year ago that "systematically receiving cash in envelopes without this money being documented and registered openly - serves as a clear indication of something unacceptable." They went on to declare that "a black flag flies over such an envelope." That was during the appeal of the now imprisoned former finance minister, Abraham Hirchson. But now, ignoring the express declaration of the Supreme Court through judicial acrobatics and ethical zigzags, the Jerusalem District Court has brought us back to the bad old days of "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn."
Indeed it was right that a media storm should break out following the court's ruling in the case of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday. But it should have gone in the opposite direction - against the distorted ethics that cry out to the skies, and against those judges who have taken us back to the kind of judicial and moral standards that were accepted decades ago. And also against those who are celebrating this "return" with such malicious glee and hollow delight.
Whose head should the media be demanding? The heads of those who decided that most of the prosecution's testimony was proved correct but who nevertheless - in some strange manner - acquitted the accused? Or the head of the prosecution whose claims in the indictment were almost all accepted by the court? Which standards, which people, which interested groups do the media serve in this harsh one-sidedness which is almost unequalled? Even the characterization of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as having been completely exonerated in the Greek Island corruption affair - after he announced the uprooting from Gush Katif - pales when compared to the emotional, vitriolic and uniform support for the position of the private citizen Ehud Olmert.
Indeed, because of the media's ability to influence the setting of standards of what is permitted and forbidden, it's nearly collective behavior - while closing ranks with Olmert's ethics and the community that affirms his moral world - is even more problematic than the mistake (on the assumption that it is a mistake ) of the Jerusalem District Court.
If the testimony of the witness, American businessman Morris Talansky, is "weird," then on what basis did the judges decide that Olmert received hundreds of thousands of dollars from him in envelopes? And if they decided that he received these payments, what should the acquittal they gave him be called, in their opinion? And if we are already talking about strange phenomena, from where - unless it was to find justification for this morally dubious judgment - did the court grant itself the freedom to make a ruling on psychological grounds ("the emotional basis" ) and to ignore the proof when it, in its own words, stated that there was no fault with the evidence?
If the "emotional basis" was the decisive factor, then perhaps psychologists rather than judges should henceforth judge VIPs. (The serious among them will be the first to state that the "emotional basis" is not a reason to acquit a person who is psychologically healthy and responsible for his actions. )
Written laws and not slippery psychological theories must be the guiding light for judges. The attitude of forgiveness for acts of corruption by white collar workers in the front of the public stage is now official. And any Israeli who does not want his country to slide into the standards of the Third World must free himself of the brainwashing he has been undergoing in the past few days and protest. This kind of slide is likely to take place if the Supreme Court does not abrogate this strange ruling.
But in order for the court to have its say, the prosecution has to submit an appeal. Influential and well-known lawyers, as well as political activists and organizations along with the biased media, are trying to prevent an appeal from being lodged. They are doing this, among other means, by terrorizing the state attorney and his colleagues.
Therefore it is essential to try to lift the spirits of the prosecutors and say to them: Be strong and of good courage. If you continue to dare, the truth will come to light. If, on the other hand, you refrain from lodging an appeal, the standard set by the Jerusalem District Court and the ideological pollution by the media will take us back to the days of "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox..." which were supposed to have disappeared, never to return.
The standards of the Supreme Court as they came to light in its ruling on the cash envelopes in the Hirchson case were different. Thus, there is no reason whatsoever that they should not be applied in the case of the Talansky envelopes. Thus, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, have no fear. If you don't bow your head now, those who want it will be shamed and disgraced when the time comes for the truth to be declared.
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