Opinion

Israel’s Election, the Corrupt and the Corrupting Occupation

The entrance to a new Jewish outpost in Beit Jala, September 9, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

We are once again going to the polls. Because of the corruption, the battle this time is over the corrupt and the corrupters.

It's between those demanding that we drop from the government those who misappropriate public funds and those demanding that the embezzlers be forgiven. It’s between those demanding that the swindlers, thieves and bribe takers be brought to justice, and those striving to extricate them from the tentacles of the law. It’s between those who aspire to keep out of the government those who exploit people for their own needs, and those who want to keep these exploiters permanently in their comfortable seats.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 40Haaretz

“Is this corruption? For and against” is definitely a worthy slogan for the current election campaign. Therefore, and with a certain brazenness, I’d like to focus a sliver of light on one more corrupt entity. One more corrupter. A multifarious and powerful blight that for more than 50 years has been mired in major corruption-and-corrupting. And I beg forgiveness for unearthing it from the oblivion: the occupation. The corrupting and corrupt occupation.

There is not, and never has been, anything more corrupt and corrupting in the entire history of the state. One would think that in the context of the war against corruption and its practitioners this phenomenon should be fought against. But there’s a limit to optimism. So I’ll mention it in only a few words and publish a very short list:

The occupation corrupts the soul.

The occupation corrupts values.

The occupation corrupts the government.

The occupation corrupts the economy.

The occupation corrupts Jews.

The occupation corrupts rabbis.

The occupation corrupts voters.

The occupation corrupts elected officials.

The occupation corrupts teachers and students.

The occupation corrupts soldiers and commanders.

The occupation corrupts the law, distorts the judicial system, tramples justice and twists morality.

The occupation blinds people’s eyes, seals their ears and completely blocks their nasal passages.

The occupation turns intelligence into stupidity, blurs wisdom and deceives.

The occupation releases passions.

The occupation kills children.

The occupation disgraces the past and darkens the future.

The occupation is good for scoundrels and bad for the enlightened.

All the scoundrels take the side of the corrupt entity to rescue it from any trouble. And the enlightened ones, nebbishes, find themselves supporting, almost against their will, a “secular-liberal national unity government.”

A “secular-liberal national unity government” for an occupying country is like medical marijuana for a cancer patient. But it’s better than nothing. Even though no savior will emerge from such a government, maybe some of the abomination concealed in the institution will disappear.