Netanyahu Ahead of Trump Phone Call: I Am Willing to Give Palestinians a 'State-minus'

The Court of First Resort

In our courtistan, every public figure who is acquitted in court, or against whom no indictment is filed due to 'insufficient evidence,' is assured of promotion, and probably his name will immediately appear in the list of candidates for prime minister.

Israel is a courtistan - there's a Bantustan and a courtistan. No more values, no more public norms, no more rules of the game - only the judicializing of our lives. It should come as no surprise that legions of lawyers have arisen in Israel. A multiplicity of lawyers on this scale doesn't necessarily attest to the purity of the camp: maybe the opposite.

In our courtistan, every public figure who is acquitted in court, or against whom no indictment is filed due to "insufficient evidence," is assured of promotion, and probably his name will immediately appear in the list of candidates for prime minister. What about the poor public figures who don't have even one certificate of good character in their pocket? They're not going to go far, that's for sure. What does it matter if those who were acquitted did wrong, were corrupt and committed despicable acts? They weren't convicted. That's the important thing.

The country is filled not only with lawyers but with commentators, as well. And if I understand what they are writing about Ariel Sharon, and after we collect all the compliments that have been heaped on him, the following picture emerges: Sharon is an extraordinarily smooth politician, polished, sophisticated, able to wrap the whole world around his little finger, a supreme tactician, a practiced juggler who keeps plenty of balls in the air and snatches them one by one, a person who gets down to the minutest details, and for whom the byways of Israeli politics are as clear as the trails on his ranch.

Yet, when things come down to suspicion of bribe taking, this sharp, sophisticated person turns out to be a total idiot. He knows nothing, hears nothing, sees nothing, and above all, understands nothing. And that idiocy is passed on to his two sons - they don't understand, either. They open the window of their house and a tsunami of shekels, millions of shekels, floods in, and they simply don't understand how and why this is happening to them. They open the door, and lying on the threshold, waiting for them, is a thick envelope that also contains millions of shekels, and they haven't got a clue what it's doing there and for whom it is meant. Innocently, they thought this was the way of the world: Everyone has a rich uncle who sends wonderful envelopes like this. And the Sharon family has its own version of this uncle, David Appel, and this is his private obsession, so what can you do: It is better (for him) to give and (for us) to receive. True, there are those among us who haven't been paid their wages for a year, but, hey, it's not our fault they haven't yet discovered their uncle, or vice versa.

Alright, I agree: Only the attorney general shall decide people's fate. That's the law. Alright, the unanimous opinion of the seven senior figures in the State Prosecutor's Office is neither here nor there. Alright, I too believe in the new attorney general for the time being.

And let's say he decides not to indict - that's his authority in courtistan, let there be no mistake about it. Still, someone will have to explain to the public why it is fine and proper for the prime minister and his sons to allegedly receive millions of shekels without any reasonable and overt cause. We will never know, because this attorney general has already declared he will not issue a "public report."

In other words, once the attorney general decides what he decides, a completely new era in Israeli politics will begin. Each of us will be entitled to open our door in order to collect the fat envelope that awaits us on the threshold.

If this is not proved to be bribery, if this case is not wrapped up despite all the crushing facts and all the recordings, video and audio, then there will be no more givers and receivers of bribes in this country. Henceforth, we are all idiots, even the sharpest and most sophisticated and even the magicians among us, and we just don't understand why all these uncles are gathering under our black canopy.

I know that at this stage the word "alleged" is annexed to the word "bribery." I, for my part, am willing to take the risk and omit the addition. Indeed, let Sharon and his sons sue me for libel. I promise not to make use of my parliamentary immunity, and so the attorney general will be able to spare himself the tough decision - and I, in his place, will try to bear the burden of proof.