The appeal of Omri Sharon, the former one-term MK and son of former PM Ariel Sharon, has been rejected - and he will begin his seven-month jail term a month from now. Sharon the son was convicted of violations of political campaign laws, including receiving unlawful campaign donations and filing false affidavits, and could have faced up to five years in prison.
The violations occurred during the 1999 Likud Party primaries, in which Ariel Sharon won the title of Likud party leader and its candidate for prime minister. Sharon the father always denied any knowledge of how his campaign was financed, saying it was run exclusively by his son. Many viewed Omri Sharon favorably for his apparent willingness to be his father's "fall guy."
Ariel Sharon suffered a massive brain hemorrhage in January 2006, lapsing into a coma that is now two years old. The beginning of Omri's sentence was postponed in the past because of his father's illness.
In his one three-year term in the Knesset, which began exactly five years ago to the day, Omri Sharon was a member of several Knesset committees - but is best known for his behind-the-scenes Knesset work in pushing and promoting the Disengagement, in which 25 Jewish towns in Gaza and Shomron were destroyed and 9,000 Jews were made homeless. He was also heavily involved in doling out official appointments to governmental and official bodies.
Call for Pardon
Within hours after the Supreme Court's rejection of the appeal was announced, at least one call was heard for a Presidential pardon for Omri Sharon. Public relations man Rani Rahav asked President Shimon Peres to show compassion and grant clemency.
"In these days," Rahav wrote to Peres, "when former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lies unconscious in Tel HaShomer Hospital, with his two sons tending him day and night, we citizens of Israel are praying for his health. It cannot be ignored that his son, former MK Omri Sharon, is tending his father 24 hours a day with endless dedication. I believe that this case should be treated with the trait of compassion, and not increase Omri Sharon's suffering. There is no doubt that Omri has already received his punishment and pays for it every day and every hour. Please, honored President, pardon former MK Omri Sharon."