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The prime minister's acquittal and the songs of praise, written by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, for the talents of his son Gilad legitimize a system that includes David Appel among its founders: businessmen entering politics to influence politicians so as to help their businesses.

Those who got excited about the Gavrieli family and Shlomo Oz's gang joining the Likud can relax now. It's okay, it's allowed.

On the way to legitimizing Appel's method, the attorney general ignored quite a few facts. Here are some examples:

l Mazuz repeatedly emphasized that Appel handed over the large sums of money to Gilad while his father was in the opposition. However, the largest sums of money reached the Sycamore Ranch bank accounts after Sharon became prime minister. On March 3, 2001, Sharon junior received NIS 187,200 from Ziviyon, a company owned by Appel, and in the next three months, another NIS 280,000 flowed into the Sharon family's accounts. Nowhere in the Mazuz report are those figures mentioned.

l Mazuz ignores the fact that the business relationship between Gilad and Appel began at the end of 1998, when Sharon was foreign minister. At that time, according to the charge sheet against him, Appel was trying to recruit the Foreign Ministry's uppermost echelons to help him with the Greek island deal. But Mazuz preferred to emphasize that negotiations over, and the signing of, the agreement between Appel and Gilad "took place while Sharon was in the opposition and was not in a government position from which he could help Appel in his businesses."

l Mazuz notes that Appel appealed to Sharon to help him change the zoning of thousands of dunams that the businessman bought in the Lod area in September 1997, when Sharon was National Infrastructure Minister and responsible for the Israel Lands Administration. But Mazuz ignores the fact that following that request, Sharon should have been aware that Appel was expecting his help. Against that background, in December 1998, Appel promised Sharon help in his primary campaign for the Likud leadership. A month later, on January 18, 1999, Sharon asked Appel for help in the primaries, and Appel promised him a staff of 40 people, which involves a major investment. Finally, in 2002, Sharon enlisted in Appel's cause and applied direct and indirect pressure on planning commission members and Interior Ministry professionals to win the Lod area zoning changes that the businessman had wanted. As a result, Mazuz ignored the connection between these actions: How a real estate mogul needs the help of a politician, the politician needs the real estate mogul's help, and he just happens to be a vote contractor in the politician's party.

l Mazuz emphasized that Appel did not keep his promise to set up a staff to work for Sharon during the primaries. According to the law, a promise is as good as a grant, and in any case, according to wiretapped evidence in Mazuz's possession, Appel helped Sharon in the primaries, giving orders to Likud field operatives under his influence to work for him.

l Mazuz made a strange comparison between the skills of Gilad Sharon, who has no proven experience in marketing or managing tourism projects, and certainly not projects on the scale that Appel had planned for the Greek island, and the skills - and pay - of architect Shmuel Hashimshoni, who drew up the project's plans. Hashimshoni is an experienced architect, whose responsibility for the project was very different from that of Gilad, who initially was hired by Appel in an undefined role and then as a "consultant."

l Mazuz made no mention in his decision that in addition to Gilad, Appel also employed Avigdor Lieberman in the Greek island project. Appel paid the Lieberman-owned Netiv el Hamzirah company $20,000 a month for a few months while Lieberman was running for Knesset. Apparently that is the same "cast the bread upon the waters" method: I'll help you now, you help me tomorrow or the day after.

l Mazuz made only marginal mention of the conflict of interest between the public servant Ariel Sharon and Appel, the businessman with business interests. He wrote that Sharon was a "decoration" at dinners hosted by Appel for the Greek delegation, yet Mazuz saw nothing wrong with that. In other words, it is permissible for a politician to "decorate" events organized by a businessman interested in advancing his business interests while that businessman makes promises to politicians about giving them his political help and funneling large sums of money into the bank accounts of the politician's son.

l Mazuz accepts at face value Sharon's version that he doesn't deal with the financial affairs of the ranch or even his own personal financial affairs. Who wrote David Spector a check for NIS 100,000? Who asked Cyril Kern for a $1.5 million loan? Yes, the same person whom the attorney general believes never deals with his own financial affairs or the affairs of his ranch.