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The Stench of Corruption

By Michael Freund
10/16/2007, 12:00 AM


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set a new personal and political record this week, when Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized yet another police investigation against him - bringing the total number now in play to three.
You can smell it from a mile away.

Just take a deep breath these days, and it is hard not to notice a residue of odor in the air. I'm not referring to global warming, carbon emissions or your run-of-the-mill air pollution - but to pollution of a different sort, the type that erodes a nation and its institutions, slowly wearing them down and eating away at the foundations of society. It is called corruption, and Israel's government is wallowing in it.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set a new personal and political record this week, when Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized yet another police investigation against him - bringing the total number now in play to three. And so, at a time when the nation faces a series of grave existential threats, the prime minister is busy consulting his lawyers, trying to keep the investigators at bay.

By any standard of decency and integrity, Olmert should have stepped aside by now. And he most certainly should not be undertaking fateful negotiations on the future of this country and its borders. He lacks the standing and the mandate to do such things.

They say that a nation gets the leaders that it deserves. But when one looks at our present leadership, I can't help but think: we deserve a whole lot better.