Buzhi Herzog and Tsipi Livni are corrupt, yet they have not had to face public embarassment over their corruption because most of the press/broadcast media keep it away from the public’s eye.
Herzog was part of the Labor Party’s illegal receipt of big money from abroad during the 1999 election campaign which made Ehud Barak prime minister. During the campaign, Barak complained about overcrowding in hospitals. A woman in Nahariyya was, he told us, forced to sleep in the hallway of the local hospital because there was not enough room. Apparently Barak did nothing about it because the Labor Party is again complaining about hospital overcrowding. Be that as it may, the Labor Party and Herzog were bringing big money into Israel from abroad for electoral purposes, which was illegal. When he was questioned about it in later years by police, he refused to testify or answer questions. The Movement for Quality Government had petitioned the Supreme Court to remove him from his post as minister in Sharon’s government. Apparently, he got off. However, the state controller had earlier found that Herzog was at the head of “a system” for violating the party financing law in 1999 and had crudely violated this law.
Just parenthetically, it seems that Herzog’s friends in Washington have found a new way to influence Israeli elections to their liking. The State Department and other bodies supply money instead to “non-profit” organizations that do not advocate for a specific party or candidate but directly advocate against Netanyahu and the Likud. Such bodies are One Voice and related outfits which work with V15, an Israeli outfit which combines Labor and Meretz supporters. Thus V15 can get around the law forbidding foreign financing of Israeli parties and candidates. An Obama operative named Jeremy Bird can bring a brigade of US political consultants, community organizing experts and psychological warfare experts to Tel Aviv to interfere in Israel’s democratic processes. And that’s OK.
Livni jumped opportunistically from one party to another, at times treading crudely on fellow party members and on the rules of the party. She jumped from Likud to Kadima to haTnu`ah and now to the so-called “Zionist Camp.” She lost the leadership vote in Kadima to Shaul Mofaz. So what did she do? Did she accept defeat and stay loyal to the party? No. She jumped away from Kadima and founded a new party, haTnu`ah. But what else had she done in Kadima? Itsik Haddad, an accountant and treasurer of Kadima, sued the party in Labor Court over illegal dismissals of party employes while she was the leader and over other actions that were apparently illegal or improper by herself and her close associate in that period, the party’s director-general. She too, like Herzog, refused to testify in court when called, citing her parliamentary immunity. She is now supposed to testify after the elections.
So Livni is hardly the Mrs Kleen that she would like the world to believe she is. Nor is Herzog clean of corruption, despite his distinguished pedigree.