Yesterday the generous financial and legal terms that will be given to the state witness in the Holyland affair, a person known only as S who was directly involved in transferring bribe moneys from givers to receivers, were published. It turns out that crime pays – if you know exactly when to jump off the sinking ship and to where. The deal made with this person, assuming that the published details are true, is sickening, but in all likelihood it will be best to block the nostrils and swallow it. As the British say, we have much bigger fish to fry. If their testimony will finally lead to the conviction of a few people who for years thought and acted as if there is no law in the State of Israel and, if there is, then it does not apply to them and they are above it, then the national gain will be much greater than the price paid.
Long term corruption in such high places which filters down to governmental and economic systems has a devastating effect on the national strength of the state and its ability to withstand not only internal social challenges but also existential threats from outside. Together with other ailments like violent crime, the consumption of drugs, the avoidance of military service and the deep poverty affecting wide sections of the population, all important subjects I will cover in the future, the political-economic corruption gnaws from inside the foundations of the very society from which the army comes. Everyone understands these days that a corrupt politician will not suddenly turn into a Churchillian leader in time of crisis, in the same way that a drug addict who has completely lost his will power and his ability to make sensible decisions will not suddenly turn into a Superman when called up for reserve service.
The process of cleaning the pus of corruption and crime at the highest levels of the Israeli administration, that has already sent, after prolonged and unnecessary delays, an ex- president to jail, and that it is hoped will achieve similar results with the Holyland affair and other affairs tied to the same accused, is painful but necessary for the healing of the Israeli political system. Both the judiciary and the media will do well in the future to investigate and expose the Pandora boxes carried by those claiming high ranking political positions long before they are elected and settle comfortably into their spacious offices.