Friday, January 19

The Present Israeli Government is an affront to Human Rights

The present Netanyahu Government is filled with right-wing sycophants that are racist, divisive as well as some being potential felons under police investigation.


Some are even suspected of felonies such as PM Netanyahu (Case 1000, 2000) and MK David Bitan 1 (both under police investigation) and a few on the “waiting list” (Minister of Welfare and Social Services, Chaim Katz 2 as an example) as well as being surrounded by a plethora of extra-parliamentary tycoons, businessmen and even lawyers David Shimron, (Netanyahu’s cousin) 3, and Yitzchak Molcho are suspected of involvement in an illegal submarine deal (Case 3000).
(L-R) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal lawyer David Shimron, his former diplomatic envoy Yitzhak Molcho, his former bureau chief David Sharan, former deputy national security adviser Avriel Bar-Yosef and former commander of the Israeli Navy Eliezer Marom (Flash90)


Even in culture, the foul-mouthed, screaming Netanyahu sycophant, Miri Regev, Minister of Culture and Sport 5 is punting and funding what she views as culture and threatens to withhold state funding of cultural projects that do not conform to her Moroccan ancestry and Likud agenda. She doesn't know what culture is, especially western culture. This definitely does threaten Israel's once-vibrant democracy. Having grown up in apartheid South Africa, I remember the censorship or banning of cultural projects that did not conform to white government agendas outright.


Surely there is a certain feeling of déjà vu! Israel is a very different Israel to what it was 40 plus years ago. It is becoming less tolerant of those, who are different (non-Jews). The treatment of refugees is appalling. We have forgotten that we were once refugees as well. The settlements in the occupied territories are viewed as holy creations, including the settlers, most of whom are embedded with an extremist religious Zionist ideology. They appear above the law. Many of the settler offspring and their ilk are involved in the destruction of Palestinian property and go unpunished.


The present government is passing laws weakening the law courts and the police force in order to protect the potential felons in their midst. They pander to the ultra-Orthodox coalition partner religious coercion by passing laws such as the Minimarket Law making it illegal to open businesses on Shabbat.


There is also the Darfur in South Sudan and Eritrean refugee issue. The treatment of refugees from South Sudan and Eritrea is appalling and cruel.These refugees are being deported with some pocket money to countries in Africa where their lives are endangered. This is done because of the fear of Israel’s Jewish citizens being assimilated. It is as if Israel is deporting them to their deaths. Does this not remind us of a very evil power in Germany from 1933 to 1945? Nazi Germany had death camps to exterminate Jews that were not deported. In Israel, those who cooperate with the deportation authorities to send the refugees to their fate are also guilty of being accessories to murder. The Minister of the Interior, Arye Deri, is responsible for signing the orders of the expulsion of asylum seekers from Israel. He, himself, is an ex-convict as well as Shas Party chairman and his wife are under investigation for money laundering, fraud, breach of trust and tax offences. He views himself as a “Shomer Mitzvot” 6 (שומר מצוות) and part of that is “purity” of the Jewish People in his view.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (l) and his wife Yaffa seen leaving their home in Jerusalem, on May 29, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)


This is an unforgivable tragedy. Israel has lost its Jewish heart and soul. The deportation of refugees (the racist right-wing regime refers to them as “infiltrators”) is cruel and heartless. We have lost our humanity preserving it for Jews only. Many of us had family who suffered the devastation and cruelties of the Nazi Holocaust and has forgotten what it is to be a refugee. These people are no threat to Israel’s security and if the government could allow a budget for their rehabilitation and absorption into Israel and its workforce this problem would be solved. Instead of the massive monthly salaries - 5000 shekels or $1452.82 - increase for Israel’s boorish cabinet ministers this money could be used for rehab and absorption.


Inspectors, who are responsible for sniffing out refugees for deportation are just “carrying out orders”. Sounds familiar? Many offspring of these refugees were born in Israel, speak Hebrew and are Israeli no less than the “Chosen People”. Israel is a signatory to Geneva Convention to the receiving of refugees - now they are squirming. They are no threat to Israel’s security. Israel is squandering lots of money today to give their boorish cabinet ministers a 5000 shekel raise in their monthly salary as well as the monies that go to sectarian ultra-Orthodox yeshiva projects for maintaining their putrid coalition. There is money to absorb these refugees and turn them into productive citizens by allowing them to work as well as being sent to other parts of Israel and not crowding them in south Tel Aviv under disgraceful living conditions as well as not being allowed to work legally.


The Holocaust survivors, handicapped, aged and the inadequate health system are under subsidized by the state. The government gave themselves an exorbitant rise in monthly salary, as mentioned earlier in this article, that they do not deserve.


The Netanyahu dynasty is ruling Israel. Yair Netanyahu, Bibi’s son has bodyguards and a luxury car at his disposal even when he frequents strip clubs of ill repute for his urges at the taxpayers' expense 7 as if we do not pay enough taxes already.


While I never agreed with Likud ideology, the previous generation of Likud members such as Late PM Menachem Begin, his mentor Ze'ev Jabotinsky and their associates (they would turn in their graves if they knew what had become of their Revisionist ideology), who cared more for Israel than the present lot of shenanigans that care for their Knesset seats and making a quick buck. They also get their support from many Israelis, who are racist.

References:
  1. "Coalition chair MK David Bitan suspected of ... - The Times of Israel." 3 Dec. 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/coalition-chair-mk-david-bitan-suspected-of-receiving-bribes-money-laundering/. Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.
  2. "Haim Katz - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Katz. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
  3. "Legal Affairs: Who is Netanyahu's right-hand man, David Shimron ...." 20 Jul. 2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Legal-Affairs-Who-is-Netanyahus-right-hand-man-David-Shimron-anyway-500274. Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.
  4. "David Shimron | The Times of Israel." https://www.timesofisrael.com/topic/david-shimron/. Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.
  5. "Miri Regev's Culture War - The New York Times." 20 Oct. 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/magazine/miri-regevs-culture-war.html. Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.
  6. "Mitzvah - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitzvah. Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.
  7. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/the-full-transcript-of-yair-netanyahu-s-wild-tel-aviv-night-1.5730342

Friday, January 5

The Right-Wing in Israel and Corruption

The year 2017 has ended and if we reflect back on that year we observe that despite PM Netanyahu’s claim that Israel’s diplomatic relations with the moderate Arab States have taken a turn for the better, this is an over-statement. It really is a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. This is certainly the case with Iran that is threatening the Sunni Arab States in the region and is filling the vacuum since the defeat of Daesh (or rather the weakening of Daesh). The Daesh idea of a caliphate still exists and the non-Muslim countries, as well as the Muslim countries, are still under threat as the Daesh tactics are now cells scattered in many countries of Europe. These cells are involved in lone terrorist attacks against innocent people and no country is immune. There will be more of the same in the coming year, unfortunately.

The trend all over Europe in their general elections is a strong move towards the centre-right and extreme right, including a move towards neo-fascism and its xenophobic tendencies. The flood of refugees from the Middle East and Africa is a factor that has resulted in this trend.

In Israel, this is also true. Israel has the most right-wing government in its history. Those who do not hold the right-wing Israeli Government Coalition view are ostracised and even viewed as traitors to Israel. The left wing in Israel has become weak and ineffective. Even the new leader of the Zionist Camp, Avi Gabbay, is certainly not left of centre. He is really Likud-lite and is dragging the so-called opposition towards a more right-wing direction in his effort to attract disgruntled Likudniks.

The main coalition partner - the Likud, has been troubled by a large number of corruption scandals of which much has been written in the Israeli media. The Likud support in Israel is not so high - only 30 seats out of 120 seats in the Knesset. The only reason why they are in power is that they managed to cobble a coalition of extreme right-wing parties including the ultra-Orthodox parties. This  has resulted in various controversial Bills - the Recommendation Bill, which limits the power of the police to investigate suspected felons, who are Knesset members as well as the weakening of the law courts

MK David Bitan, the ex-Likud Coalition Chairman 1, is being investigated for bribery, corruption money laundering and every day the case against him thickens as he is being interrogated by the police for the fifth time 2. Bitan and his replacement, MK David (Dudu)  Amsalem, were both very keen on pushing this Bill through. The former appears to have been keen on this Bill as he knew that he was on the road to a criminal investigation and probably wanted to ensure that he would have a trouble-free term in the Knesset. More business people close to Bitan are being questioned 3 by the police and are willingly spilling the beans to save their own skins and incriminating Bitan 4, their”cupboard love friend” even further. PM Netanyahu is also under investigation over receiving gifts for favours (Case 1000) as well as making a deal with the director of Yediot Ahronot, Noni Moses (Case 2000), to publish favourable reports about him in his newspaper. In the shady submarine deals (Case 3000) he still remains clear and is presumed innocent. Even Sara Netanyahu, Bibi Netanyahu’s wife, has been demanding presents from Bibi’s tycoon friends. Apparently, she is Bibi’s keeper and despite Bibi’s denials, she has much influence on her husband and in her own eyes is deserving of massive kickbacks. She may also be facing criminal charges.

 Another scandal involving Netanyahu is Case 4000 known as the “Bezeq affair,” this corruption scandal began with a special state comptroller report, published in July, on the problematic relationship between the Communications Ministry and Bezeq, Israel’s telecom giant. The report found that Shlomo Filber, director general of the Communications Ministry and a former top aide to Netanyahu, had been providing Bezeq with confidential documents and other information from which the company stood to benefit. Netanyahu had brought Filber to the Ministry of Communications after he fired Avi Berger, his predecessor at the job. Berger had been trying to advance a broadband reform that would have hurt Bezeq.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held seven meetings with Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, Israel's biggest telecommunications company, between 2013 and 2015, according to a report revealed in a freedom-of-information request.


All these irregularities occur because the Likud Coalition has been in power for too long. Netanyahu views Israel as his private playground. He seems to behave as if Israel is his private property and he can do what he wishes in the interests of Israel, which really is his own private interests to carry on the good life at others' expense. He is as stingy as Scrooge and he has his providers. It is unlikely that he will treat anybody for a meal at his own expense.
Another pseudo-religious
Arye Deri
creep, Interior Minister
Aryeh Deri, has been convicted and spent time in prison in the past, leader of the pseudo-religious ultra-Orthodox Shas Party is part of the Coalition Government. A more insensitive creature is hard to find. He treats refugees (Sudanese and Eritreans) with contempt and finds ways of expelling them thus 
endangering their lives. Israel is a signatory to the Geneva Fourth Convention concerning the status of refugees. The reason - “contamination” of the Jewish People is Deri's main concern. Israel’s present rulers are masters of double standards. They are always in the forefront in sending aid to countries suffering from natural disasters but their attitude to those in distress, who are non-Jews and arrive as refugees is deplorable! 5

Deri also consulted a rabbi to find a way of coercing a fellow MK, Yehuda Glick, who is mourning his wife’s (sitting shiva) death, to come and vote in the Knesset on a controversial Bill prohibiting certain businesses from operating on the Sabbath - the Minimarket Bill. All in the name of God to prevent desecration of the Sabbath. What a sanctimonious, double standard creature!  Deri and his “God-Fearing” wife, Yaffa Deri,6 are also facing further police investigation for corruption. Deri’s behaviour is deplorable no less than the other band of Likud shenanigans that are in the Knesset today!
David (Dudu) Amsalem L and David Bitan R Tweedledee and Tweedledum

The Likud has been in power too long and its leader, PM Netanyahu, can serve for as many terms as he wishes on re-election. In the US and in the UK, as well as in many Western democracies, a leader is limited to serving two terms - not in Israel, where the leader can serve ad infinitum unless his/her party loses the election. This opens the door to corruption in high places from which even the ruling prime minister is not immune.

According to the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the present government is responsible for anti-democratic
initiatives as well as the erosion of democratic values in Israel:

In recent years we have witnessed a disturbing trend toward the erosion of democratic values in Israel and the promotion of anti-democratic initiatives. It is particularly alarming that democratic values are being undermined and the rules of the democratic process are being broken in the Knesset – Israel’s parliament and the heart and symbol of Israeli democracy. Statements and actions by senior political figures have far-reaching ramifications and influence on the attitudes of the Israeli public regarding democracy, human rights, and political, social and ethnic minorities.

The most basic rules of the democratic game have been challenged recently. The foundations of the democratic system have been attacked, including the separation of powers and respect for the office and function of the different branches and institutions that exist in a democracy; the role of civil society; and protection of human rights, for example the freedom of expression, the right to protest, and respect for the underlying value of equality. By using the “defensive democracy” approach, these areas have been subjected to systematic erosion through biased and distorted interpretations.”

We have reached a new low in Israel’s “thriving democracy” as the present government is doing everything in its power to suppress personal freedom by enacting legislation that endangers the law courts’ ability by weakening it as well as the Israeli Police Force when it comes to investigations of suspected felons serving in the government coalition.

Those who care for decent, fair government in Israel, devoid of any corruption suspicions must avoid voting for the Likud and those who served as their coalition partners in the next Israeli General Elections. Failing to do so will ensure the continuation of further erosion of the law and more laws will be enacted to protect suspected felons in power. 

References:
  1. "MK David Bitan submits letter of resignation to PM Benjamin ...." 20 Dec. 2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/MK-David-Bitan-submits-letter-of-resignation-to-PM-Netanyahu-518575. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.
  2. "Netanyahu's right-hand man David Bitan resigns as coalition whip ...." 20 Dec. 2017, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.830186. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.
  3. "MK David Bitan submits letter of resignation to PM Benjamin ...." 20 Dec. 2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/MK-David-Bitan-submits-letter-of-resignation-to-PM-Netanyahu-518575. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.
  4. "David Bitan | The Times of Israel." https://www.timesofisrael.com/topic/david-bitan/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.
  5. "Aryeh Deri | The Times of Israel." https://www.timesofisrael.com/topic/aryeh-deri/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.
  6. "Interior Minister Deri, wife questioned again in graft probe | The Times ...." https://www.timesofisrael.com/interior-minister-deri-wife-face-further-interrogation-in-graft-probe/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.

Sunday, December 10

President Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem



President Donald Trump never fails to surprise. It is always the context in which he makes his predictable announcements and the timing that could not be worse. This president is the most unconventional president that the US has ever had in all its history. His announcement that the US will officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and that he will be ordering the US Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem will create repercussions in the Palestinian world if not the whole Arab world and its allies.
Image result for trump jerusalem capital
Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing longtime U.S. policy


 In Israel, these announcements of Trump have met with great applause. Naturally, the Government Coalition is head over heels in euphoria and is close to dancing the hora. Was this Trump announcement really necessary?

We are all aware that Israel’s Knesset is in Jerusalem and this makes Jerusalem de facto capital of Israel and this does not warrant Trump’s announcement on this issue. The status quo at present on Jerusalem was never an issue and its final status has been recognized as an essential part of a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians when both sides re-negotiate a lasting peace. Trump has put the cart before the horse because of his usual hubris and total lack of foresight. It is doubtful whether he has any plan as to how to get peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian initiated.   

What Trump has done may reap praises from the present right-wing in Israel as well as providing an excuse for the Palestinians to threaten Israel with terror attacks that will result in unnecessary suffering for both sides. Trump does not understand that the Palestinians do not resemble the Swiss or any other European nation in their logic and rationality with whom one can negotiate a “peace deal” (to use Trumpist terminology). They are driven by mantras of fantasy and hatred for Israel and if it is not the Jerusalem issue it will be another issue that can ignite the Palestinian leaders to goad their people into committing violence against Israelis. The issue of the status of Jerusalem has been a hot potato since Israel’s establishment. The problem between Israel and the Palestinians is an existential one and will always remain glowing embers until some world statesman puts his/her foot in it by saying things that are best left unsaid for the sake of preventing violence and bloodshed.

Already there are threatening rumblings in the Palestinian leadership about Trump’s announcement that will reverberate across the Middle East and may even threaten the trust that is in its very initial stages between Israel and Saudi Arabia and may even threaten Israel’s tenuous relations with Egypt and Jordan. Is this really necessary? We, in Israel, do not need Trump’s announcements on Jerusalem as it is like waving a red rag to a bull. It is also detrimental to the interests of the US as well as Israel. In fact, there are reports of Israeli soldiers clashing with Palestinians who are protesting Trump’s Jerusalem decision. The clashes have already started between the Palestinians and the IDF. Trump has already struck a match on the already glowing embers. This is the first time that a US president must bear the blame for an unnecessary provocation.

There is an old Jewish saying that says that it is better to be wise rather than to be right. This is most applicable to Trump, who is far from being wise. There are certain things that are better left unsaid in order to avoid senseless violence and bloodshed. This is so true in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump appears to have blown it.

Thursday, December 7

Corruption in High Places

The Knesset in Israel has been plagued with a new Bill up for the third reading - a notorious Recommendation Bill that prevents the general public from knowing about police enquiries into sitting prime ministers suspected of breaking the law as well as weakening the police system and the law courts. If this Bill becomes law it will be another slap in the face of Israel's democracy.
Image result for david bitan
Coalition chair David Bitan leaves his home on his way to be questioned by police on suspicion of corruption, December 6, 2017. (Screen capture: Ynet)
.
The architects of this disgraceful Bill are two of Netanyahu’s loyal supporters or “keepers” - the Two Davids - MKs David Amsalem 1 and David Bitan 2. The former has a shady history with the police and the latter is under investigation by the police for bribery, corruption and money laundering. He was questioned for 14 hours by the police - Lahav 433 3. He will undergo a number of sessions of police enquiries as suspicions of criminal activity against him are high. This resulted in the shelving of this Bill for the present. If MK David Bitan, the Likud Coalition Chairman, is found guilty he will receive a prison sentence. The future of David Bitan in the Knesset is now uncertain.


Image result for david bitan
Husam Jarushi, a reported mobster linked to suspected wrongdoing by Likud MK David Bitan,

It is quite possible that the Two Davids were in a great hurry to get the undemocratic Recommendation Bill passed into law as soon as possible as both of them had personal issues with the police. Amsalem was questioned by the police some years ago but nothing was found, while Bitan must have known that he is soon to be questioned by the police. Both abrasive, bulldozing Davids were keen to pass this law each for their own reasons, using the Netanyahu investigation as an excuse to get the Bill passed into law. Netanyahu decided that the Recommendation Bill should not apply to him and with David Bitan out of the picture with an uncertain political future, left his partner, Amsalem high and dry, this Bill was shelved for the time being.

The present Likud has become a party of arrogant scoundrels involved in all kinds of cartels and scandals directly or indirectly. It is a far cry from the Likud of the Late PM Menachem Begin 4 and the Revisionism 5 of Ze’ev Jabotinsky 6 - who can be viewed as the founding fathers of the Likud ideology. Whether one agrees with the Likud ideology or not, there is no doubt that these founding fathers were true statesmen and had the interests of Israel in their hearts. The present lots of Likud members are far from that mould. They have become self-righteous and arrogant, connected directly or indirectly with all kinds of shady business deals to “make a quick buck” at the expense of the electorate they purport to represent.

In a democracy, this incident including the police investigations of a sitting prime minister and the criminal investigations of his close associate and supporter, David Bitan, would result in recommendations for the government to resign and a call for new elections. Israel being Israel this is not going to happen. Even if elections were called, there would be no change for the better. Israel has moved toward the right and extreme right, even the new Zionist Camp leader, Avi Gabbay, is pandering for votes from the Likud by playing populist right-wing politics.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu does not seem to be phased by the criminal investigations against him and will probably be re-elected as prime minister in the next elections. The old cry “Benjamin Netanyahu is the best Prime Minister Israel has ever had. There is nobody to replace him!” This mantra will undoubtedly be the case in the next Israeli General Elections.

Despite all these misgivings about Israel’s political future under a Likud Government that is becoming increasingly corrupt, we, Citizens of Israel, must draw the necessary conclusions. We must vote against the corrupt Likud and its band of cartel-serving politicians, many of their high ranking MKs are connected with shady financial deals for their own personal enrichment. The corrupt rot has set in the Likud Party. It has been in power too long. A sitting prime minister should not be allowed to be elected for more than two terms. Israel has set the example of what happens when a prime minister holds office beyond that. He ceases to serve the country and views the country as his personal property. Even Israel’s UN Representative, Danny Danon, has criminal suspicions in creating jobs for pals as well as nepotism in allotting these jobs. We cannot allow Israel to become a banana republic resembling ANC ruled South Africa.


THE LIKUD MUST GO!


Refererences:


  1. "Dudu Amsalem - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudu_Amsalem. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.
  2. "Coalition chair MK David Bitan suspected of receiving bribes, money ...." 3 Dec. 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/coalition-chair-mk-david-bitan-suspected-of-receiving-bribes-money-laundering/. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.
  3. "Lahav 433 - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahav_433. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.
  4. "Menachem Begin - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Begin. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.
  5. Revisionist Zionism - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionist_Zionism. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.
  6. "Ze'ev Jabotinsky - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ze%27ev_Jabotinsky. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.

Thursday, November 23

The "Zumarization" of Israel's Democracy

We have been witnessing an erosion of the rule of law in Israel. The present Coalition Government of Israel wishes to pass a law preventing the Police Force from investigating a serving prime minister suspected of breaking the law (in this case, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been summoned under oath about suspected involvement in various cases under police investigation). Netanyahu’s fellow party cronies are up in arms in the Knesset and wish to pass laws preventing the prime minister from being investigated by the police while in office. 

Those pictured below are PM Netanyahu's "keepers" in the Knesset:

Miri Regev- Lack of Culture Minister
Oren Hazan - MK of ill repute

Dudu Amsalem - Likud Party Hack
David Bitan - Boorish Likud Coalition Chairman
















The Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, has expressed his opposition to this Bill as it weakens the power of the Courts of Law. The corrupt President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who also has a number of criminal cases pending against him, has a battery of lawyers and spooks surrounding him. Their job is to keep him out of prison.

It appears that Netanyahu has a similar setup in the name of his loyal cabinet ministers, who are the devil’s advocates. Even the Chief of Police has come under criticism on investigations of PM Netanyahu. If this bill is passed into law, it opens the door for felons, with a suspected criminal past, to take a pot shot at becoming the future prime minister of Israel.

Mouths will be clamped and draconian laws will be introduced to place the ruling Government Coalition above the law. This is a definite threat to Israel’s democracy. As it is, the buds of fascism have found fertile ground in Israel’s present government.

Latest reports of further erosion of checks and balances are reports of MK Bezalel Smotrich, of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home Party, introducing a bill to curtail the activity of the State Comptroller. The role of the State Comptroller is to oversee and inspect the executive branch of Israel's governing administration. The Comptroller is elected by the Knesset by way of the secret ballot to one seven-year term, and the Knesset retains the ability to remove or replace him during his tenure. Fortunately, this Bill to limit the State Comptroller's powers was rejected. MK Smotrich, (even though he will deny this, at the end of the day, this is what he desires), is interested in his strong illegal settler agenda in the occupied territories to give them state funding without any State Comptroller “interference” or condemnation.

The present Israeli Government Coalition under Benjamin Netanyahu claims that this is a democracy. Netanyahu views his government as the democratically elected government of Israel which automatically gives them the power to do as they wish. They are the law! The police, law courts, state ombudsman are a challenge to their power and must have their power diminished by law. Bibi Netanyahu has his keepers who are doing all in their power to erode Israel’s institutions of law and order thus allowing potential Likud felons, friends of Netanyahu, to do as they wish. MK David Bitan1 and Dudu Amsalem 2 are Bibi’s protectors and keepers in the Knesset. They are closely followed by Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, who has no idea what culture really is apart from her idea of so-called Sephardi culture, which in her eyes is not against her party’s agenda 3. She threatens to withhold funds for a cultural activity that she, in her narrow perspective, views as inimical to Israel 4. There is also the pleasure-seeking MK, Oren Hassan 5 with his disgraceful, arrogant outbursts against those who disagree with him. MK Miki Zohar is another example of arrogance and boorishness in the Knesset.

In South Africa under the corrupt criminal, President Jacob Zuma 6 and his ANC shenanigans and crooks, have been embarking on similar measures for many years. Zuma 7 has evaded paying his taxes 8 to the SA treasurer and he simply replaces honest and hardworking employees in SARS (South African Revenue Services) with his own men to ensure that his crooks, tax evading businessmen engaged in smuggling, illegal imports of hard drugs and avoidance of excise duties payment and continuance of money laundering are ensured. Zuma owes the SA Treasury billions of rands in tax. He has succeeded so far in getting away with paying his taxes including those spooks who are serving him and keeping him in power. South Africa, like Israel, is a democracy.

Both countries have free elections. Both countries say that their respective governments or coalitions represent their electorates who voted for them in free elections. This in practice gives them the right to abuse their powers which in Israel’s case has resulted in various files or cases being investigated. Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 3000 and soon Case 4000 are being investigated by the police. Many of the suspects in these cases are close Netanyahu associates.

President Jacob Zuma of SA
In South Africa, the ruling ANC is corrupt and milking the SA treasury and appointing their rogues in SARS to ensure that influential scum and their illicit businessmen get a cut from the state treasury for protecting Zuma from prosecution.

Is this not an uncanny similarity to what is happening in Israel’s lawmakers today? Is this not a sign of “zumarization" of Israel’s democracy with eroding checks and balances against the abuse of power? In both Israel and South Africa there is a form of state capture -  a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state's decision-making processes to their own advantage.

  1. "Which direction does the strongest man in Israeli politics want to take ...." 4 Oct. 2017, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.815717. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  2. "Israeli MP floats law to protect Netanyahu from criminal inquiries ...." 10 Aug. 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/10/israel-law-protect-benjamin-netanyahu-criminal-inquiries-david-amsalem. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  3. "Miri Regev's Culture War - The New York Times." https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/magazine/miri-regevs-culture-war.html. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  4.  "Slammed by Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev, 'Foxtrot' wins award ...." 9 Sep. 2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Israeli-film-Foxtrot-wins-silver-lion-award-at-the-Venice-film-festival-504628. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  5. "Meet Oren Hazan, Israel's most scandalous lawmaker | The Times of ...." 27 Nov. 2015, https://www.timesofisrael.com/meet-oren-hazan-israels-most-scandalous-lawmaker/. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  6. "Jacob Zuma - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Zuma. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  7. "State Capture: Jacob Zuma, the Guptas, and corruption in South Africa ...." https://qz.com/825789/state-capture-jacob-zuma-the-guptas-and-corruption-in-south-africa/. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  8. "President jacob zuma - EWN." http://ewn.co.za/Topic/President-Jacob-Zuma. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.










Recommended Reading: “The President’s Keepers” by Jacques Paauw. There appears to be an uncanny similarity in as far as the defenders of the leaders of the two countries are concerned even though the circumstances are very different. The lowest common denominator is corruption and the defence of the respective leaderships. This is a real eye-opener on the corruption of President Zuma and the ANC