Editorial

Kahlon, Protector of the Corrupt

Without Kulanu, Kahlon's party, Netanyahu's coalition is bound to collapse. Meanwhile, Kulanu is giving corrupt politicians a green light

Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulanu party, speaks during a conference in Tel Aviv  March 11, 2015.
Reuters

The Kulanu Party holds the keys to the coalition’s survival. Without it the fourth Netanyahu government is doomed to collapse.

Without Kulanu, the prime minister wouldn’t have been able to continue in office after telling Israel’s most powerful media tycoon that he would tailor legislation to his benefit if the tycoon slanted his media coverage in Netanyahu’s favor. Without Kulanu, the man serving as defense minister could not remain in that position after it was found that millions of unexplained shekels had been deposited into his daughter’s and driver’s bank accounts. Without Kulanu, a man suspected of threatening and using inside information for private profit wouldn’t be serving as social affairs minister. Without Kulanu, a convicted felon who receives funds from a businessman wouldn’t be serving as interior minister.

But Kulanu, led by the champion of justice and statesmanship, Moshe Kahlon, is giving corrupt politicians the green light.

Kahlon is acting hypocritically, but his party’s MKs are no less hypocritical. Three Kulanu MKs took part in the right-wing demonstration against corruption – Roy Folkman, Rachel Azaria and Merav Ben Ari – as though they were members of the Bnei Akiva youth movement rather than parliamentarians whose support for the coalition is enabling its corrupt members to go on with their schemes.

“It all depends on the police recommendations in the Netanyahu investigations,” a Kulanu MK was quoted as saying this week (Chaim Levinson, December 27). “If there’s only miserliness and hedonism there, we can live with it.”

It seems that Kulanu members need a reminder: The testimonies in the investigation dubbed Case 1000 show that Netanyahu demanded of businessman Arnon Milchan benefits worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, and rewarded him with a series of government decisions.

In the so-called Case 4000 investigation, Netanyahu swayed decisions that profited Bezeq, owned by his crony Shaul Elovitch, by hundreds of thousands of dollars, contrary to the interests of the middle class, which Kahlon claims to represent.

For his part, Elovich ordered the bosses of the Walla! site, which he owns, to tilt their news coverage in favor of the prime minister. According to the State Comptroller, Netanyahu submitted a false statement, concealed from him his friendship with Elovitch – and acted in the latter’s favor on several occasions.

The details are known, but Kulanu members continue to turn a blind eye to them. Clinging to their seats is apparently more important to them than moral or ethical considerations, even among people like Eli Alaluf, who won the Israel Prize for his special contribution to Israeli society.

Kahlon and Kulanu portray themselves as protectors of the rule of law. In reality they’re protecting corrupt politicians.