It is not too often that the front page of the Star Tribune dedicates a headline to Israel, that is not related to the Israeli – Arab/Palestinian conflict, terror or violence. Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, “stars” in today’s paper, which report on yet another record – this is the first time an Israeli Prime Minister is being indicted, and with such serious accusations.
Mr. Olmert is, of course, innocent until proven otherwise. It is reported that the trial may take 3 to 4 years before a verdict is reached. Although this may not be the best day to be an Israeli, along with the negative feelings (shame, disbelief and some level of despair), which I’m convinced that I share with many others, I am also very proud of my country for treating everyone, even its former first citizen, equally, without any allowances. It attests to the strength of the Israeli justice system, as well as to the determination and power of investigative journalism. The message that no one is above the law and must be accountable for his/her actions is extremely important in a state like Israel, with the many challenges it faces; it is a reminder to the fact that our moral standards must never be impaired, no matter how many difficulties we endure.
Hebrew word of the week
While most of you are familiar with “Parasha” (in the meaning of section) in the context of reading the Torah (Parashat Hashavua= section of the Torah read on Sabbath in the synagogue ;) the Hebrew word Parasha has become more and more identified with “scandal”, an affair or an unfolding story that has some unpleasant and even negative aspects concerning it. In recent years, there was an abundance of “Parashot” in Israel, the latest one being former Prime Minister Olmert being indicted with several serious accusations (see above). The problem (and some would say, the relief) with this phenomena, is that most Israelis have become somewhat immune to scandals – it takes an extraordinary sensation to really shake us up.