Monday Mar 19, 2018
Israel Hayom
Former Netanyahu spokesman turns state's witness in Case 4,000
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Will a corrupt man save his own skin?

Nir Hefetz, a former spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has joined the list of state's witnesses in the cases directly or indirectly involving the prime minister. The longer the list gets, the stronger the impression that the police are having real difficulty collecting solid evidence that can prove beyond reasonable doubt that there were criminal acts and intent. The police "tender" for additional state's witnesses includes other candidates – or as the Book of Job puts it, "Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life'" (Job 2:4). It's very disheartening that individuals suspected of major corruption, who appear to have made corruption into an art, are given immunity for their deeds simply because of the false hope that they can help bring down the prime minister.

When such a fuss is made over cigars, it's a sign that there isn't any smoking gun. How silly do you have to be to assume that the prime minister would give out a billion shekels worth of benefits so he could garner favorable coverage on a second-tier website? How much mean-spiritedness and insensitivity does a person need to claim that the prime minister would spearhead the acquisition of unnecessary submarines or harm national security to help one or another of his associates? The day isn't far off when the public will demand, justifiably, an explanation for the attempts to frame the prime minister, to undermine the basic principles of democracy, to destabilize the government, and promote blatant politicization of law enforcement through selective enforcement. It will also demand an answer to the disturbing question of why Zionist Union co-chairwoman Tzipi Livni and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and their colleagues weren't investigated on similar matters.

When the police-backed hunt of Netanyahu is over, society will be free to understand and internalize the depth of the crisis and the ugly manipulation by Labor adviser Eldad Yaniv and former caretaker of the Prime Minister's Residence Meni Naftali, with help from the obsessive media. The system of law enforcement is in serious crisis. The public's faith in it is collapsing under the impression of overzealousness in hunting down Netanyahu in order to bring about a change in power. It seems like the police see every method as kosher if it forces the attorney general to issue indictments for major crimes.

We should also add the constant leaks from the investigations, the bizarre interview Israel Police Commissioner Insp. Gen. Roni Alsheikh gave to journalist Ilana Dayan, the prosecutor who cherry-picked which judge would rule on remands for suspects, the text-message exchange that was glossed over in record time, the conduct of former Judge Hila Gerstel and Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut (now Israel's chief justice) regarding alleged offers of bribes, and more.

For years, the Left has tried to convince the people that the Right could pose a threat to democracy. Any right-winger who dared to criticize law enforcement or the police was immediately painted as a fascist and a danger to danger to democracy. It's clear today that the real threat to Israeli democracy comes from those who are trying to instill a new government without any need to go to the polls.


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