Barack Obama and John Kerry and their spokesmen happily spread the word around the globe that Israel is on the wrong track, and this negative image takes deeper hold all the time. What, one wonders, will they think of the fact that an Israeli court has just condemned a former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, to six years in prison on corruption charges. Offhand, it comes to me that plenty of former prime ministers have been murdered in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and so on, but none put on trial for corruption. Olmert’s lawyers say he will appeal, so the judicial process essential to democracy is flourishing.
That’s not all. The former President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, is already serving a prison sentence for sexual offenses. Offhand again, I can’t think of any country in which a former president and a former prime minister are simultaneously sent to gaol. Is this breaking new ground? Oh, nobody mentions that the judge who sentenced Katsav is an Arab. Is this injustice and apartheid, or a most remarkable example of a country living up to its ideals?