Omri Sharon was sentenced yesterday to 9 months in prison and fined 300,000 Shekel for his central role in raising and hiding illegal campaign contributions in the 99 Likud primaries. Nobody expected a serious sentence, and the shockwave went through all layers of society. Serious is relative here though, since the maximum sentence is 5 years, but hey - it's a beginning.
Anyway, all afternoon I had to listen on the radio to Omri's fellow politicians whining about the severe sentence, about the judge overstepping her mandate, about the heartless legal system not taking into account the tragedy surrounding the Sharon family, bla, bla, bla. What a load of bullshit. Not one had the guts and/or the character to say "he got what he deserves for doing what he did". Not one.
Not that Omri's crimes were in any way unusual for the political establishment. To take just the latest examples, Naomi Blumenthal (Likud) was convicted of bribery during the 2002 Likud primaries (remember the political joke?) and Tzachi Hanegbi (now Kadima) is under investigation for having filled up the ranks of the Ministry of the Environment with all kind of cronies during his term as (Likud) minister. And every year the State Comptroller's report is full with stories like these, conveniently ignored by most.
The real scandal is however that not a single soul in the Likud or Kadima is even suggesting that those dubious characters should not run for the Knesset, be expelled from the party, or whatever self-cleaning measures one might think of.
That is the message: No matter how much shit you have on your hands, as long as you are buddies with Bibi Netanyahu (Likud), Ehud Olmert (ex-Likud, now Kadima) or the Shas Torah Sages (kind of the Shas central committee), you are going to be okay.
I had enough. I think I will vote for Meretz. They are hopeless dreamers, but at least nobody there can be seriously corrupt, as they never had the power to do anything for anybody. No power, no corruption. And dreams are a rare resource these days.
Reminds me of a lawyer joke, which I will modify a little bit:
Q: "How do you call a hundred Likud central committee members chained together on the bottom of the ocean?"
A: "A good beginning."