On Russian Street: Lieberman's Woes Less Newsworthy Than TA Attack

Last week's killings at the gay and lesbian club in Tel Aviv is getting far more attention among the Russian-speaking community here than the police recommendation its leading politician, Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, be indicted for money laundering and graft.

The reasons why this should be so are unclear. True, the investigation of Lieberman has been going for a long time, over a decade, and then there's the calm Lieberman himself displayed over the news. For now, the main reaction on the Russian street is no reaction. The usually lively Russian-language blogs offer little comment on the case, and even the Internet news sites largely make do with terse reports.

The community is very unlikely to assert automatically that Lieberman is innocent, as it once did whenever a prominent Russian-speaker faced legal proceedings. Following the high-profile cases against former prime minister Ehud Olmert and former finance minister Abraham Hirchson, it is harder for Russian-speakers to accuse the police of targeting Russian immigrants in particular.

That is not to say that Lieberman will not try to make this claim, and he might have some success. After the police announced their recommendation on Sunday, he refused to speak with the Hebrew-language media, but he did grant an interview to a Russian-language television station - still his home turf. His trump card is the length of the investigation. That is a type of alleged abuse with which Russian immigrants can sympathize.