Feb 22, 2006

A defense that can only be used in Israel

Absolutely amazing!! Who would have thought this claim could be used as part of a "defense" in a corruption and bribery scandal??

To what am I referring? In the past I have penned a number of posts criticizing Ehud Olmert and Kadima. I had decided to try to lessen my political comments, except when I felt I had something very pressing to say. I did not want to be just another blogger rehashing the political scene from my viewpoint. This, however, si something that could easily be overlooked and I could not resist pointing it out.

Ehud Olmert has been the subject of a number of investigations regarding bribery, illegal funding and other less than pure activities. A new one came up the other day. He is being investigated now for selling his house to a political donor of his for an unusually high selling price, adn then working out a deal to continue living in the house for an extremely low rental price. obviously the concern is that these were worked out as a way to give Olmert monies that could not be given any other way (a.k.a. money laundering to a certain extent, and subsequently any political avors would deem it as bribes as well).
Now, I do not know how it will play out and whether they will decide the sale price was too much above market value or not and whether the rental fee was too far below market value or not. It looks bad for Olmert (especially because the sale/rental had been conducted through a fictitious company the supporter had set up in the Virgin Islands and while possibly not required to, at the time he did not reveal who was behind it) and the chips may fall either way.

That is not what I want to comment on (do not get me wrong - I hope he crashes because of it). I want to talk about an idea that was raised in his defense.

Yaakov Ne'eman (former Justice Minister and Finance Minister) was the attorney who brokered the deal at the time. He has been asked for comment on the case and has gone on record saying that everything was on the up and up and done legally and the price was fair and blah blah blah. In addition to all that, he commented on why the buyer paid such a high price (within market value but at the extremely high end).
And I quote Ya'akov Ne'eman, "Everyone in the United States understands that a day will come that the Messiah will come, and apartment prices will rise greatly, and therefore it's worthwhile to invest in Jerusalem housing."

I find it absolutely amazing that this can be brought up as a defense to explain the high price paid (though it does not explain the low rental fee collected). Only in Israel could this work!
Even more that that though is another idea. No matter how disconnected these people are from Judaism and Judaism ideals and beliefs, the heart of a Jew still beats within them. Using the Messiah to rationalize a high price!! Wow!!

I had a neighbor when I lived in Jerusalem who was renting an apartment. This neighbor had a clause in his rental contract that stipulated that in the event that the Mashiach would come the rental agreement is null and void and he would have 60 days to move out and find another apartment.

Only in Israel!


  1. Olmert is innocent... He and Ne'eman are simply undercover Lubavitchers.

  2. could be. what are they undercover for?


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