Taking Stock / The Omri Sharon absurdity
Only a few minutes after the Attorney General announced he was indicting MK Omri Sharon, the prime minister's son had already sent a strident letter to the Knesset Speaker, the chairman of the Knesset House Committee and, of course, the press.
The harsh indictment, which accuses Sharon of a long list of serious felonies including breach of trust, making false statements under oath and other forms of fraud, certainly didn't get Sharon down. He immediately moved to the offensive and harshly attacked the Parties Funding Law, which he is accused of violating. He called the law absurd, "an ordnance the public is unable to bear."
We still have not even been able to free ourselves from the story of an Internet genius, the man who received $600,000 to surf the Internet and search for information on tourism in Greece, and now we have to deal with his brother, the second genius in the Sharon household - the same one who has yet to pass even one serious law of his own - but of course he has nothing but criticism for the laws of Israel.
I don't know why, but every time another affair involving Sharon and his sons arises, and there certainly have been a lot of them in recent years, I immediately start to wonder about a number of questions that have been bothering me for a while.
Maybe it is because we are talking about a prime minister who has been in office for four years - three of which were among the most difficult of the last 20 years - or maybe because these are always family matters. But in any case, somehow, Sharon and his sons also manage to make me wonder about a few personal questions:
1. Often I ask myself why I pay taxes according to the law. The legal tax rate that the State of Israel forces me to pay is crazy, among the highest in the world. I pay it every month, without thinking about it, automatically and submissively.
And this is really what is absurd: to pay 50 percent of my salary to the government even when I know that a large part of the money is used to finance a bloated and corrupt public sector, to pay the salaries of MKs like Omri Sharon and to support dozens of Omri's cronies - every one of whom knows he is a great guy who set them up in their jobs.
In general, every taxpayer in Israel who is not living off a large inheritance he received from his parents will certainly agree with me that taxes in this country are something the public cannot bear - to use the words of the famous legislator Omri Sharon. So why aren't we following his lead and only paying the sums that we can bear?
2. Why do I pay National Insurance and health insurance? I mean, National Insurance is not insurance at all - it is simply another tax for all practical purposes. The pension I will receive when I reach retirement age has no connection to the monthly premium I am now paying. The health insurance is actually a tax too - or another way for the state to reach into people's pockets.
Is it not absurd that every month we are required to pay enormous sums in national and health insurance taxes? Maybe I need to act like Omri Sharon, and stop paying, and when I'm indicted I will simply ignore everything that seems absurd to me. I'll simply ignore, avoid it.
3. Why do I need to pay fines to the police? To city hall? To any of the various authorities that levy fees on me? Every one of those authorities and bodies has dozens of laws and ordnances that seem absurd to me - I simply ignore them, go around them.
4. There is nowhere near enough space in this newspaper to mention all the absurd laws in the criminal code, the civil codes or the thousands of absurd administrative orders and ordnances that have been enacted since the State of Israel was founded, and even before. Shouldn't this be the real absurdity of the situation?
After all, we know who makes these laws, Omri Sharon for example. Can't you see the absurdity? To follow the laws of the State of Israel when we know who the lawmakers really are?
In fact, is it not absurd to follow the laws of Israel when the country is under the control of people like Omri Sharon - political hacks whose names are usually tied to backroom deals, political appointments, campaigns, private investigators and spin? You need a microscope to find their contributions to true parliamentary work.
5. The answers to all these questions can be found, perhaps, with Attorney General Menachem Mazuz. The public acquittal he gave the prime minister a year ago in the Greek island affair was one of the most absurd moments ever in the history of attorney generals - and there have been a lot of them. His weakness and fawning - if we can again borrow the words of lawmaker Omri Sharon - is a burden that the state, and in particular its citizens, cannot bear for long.