Some residents of the south of Israel who have been sitting in their integral bomb shelters for the last few days had a lovely surprise yesterday. The shelters to which they trust their lives against the threat of the Gaza rockets were built to sub-standards, from inadequate materials and with wrong positioning of exit hatches, windows and doors. Why? Very simple. So that the contractors who buil.t them would save on their expenses and increase their profits. How could they do this despite of building regulations supervision? Again, very simple. By paying bribes to the engineer who the home command of the IDF appointed to supervise the building standards of integral bomb shelters in the south of Israel. Does this surprise anybody? Nothing could surprise any more in the Middle Eastern banana republic.
In a proper, democratic, law enforcing country like the United States, all those who were involved in this sickening affair would be marched to court in front of the TV cameras with their wrists and ankles in handcuffs, and would be thrown to jail for 15 or 20 years. The Americans do not like economic corruption. In a totalitarian country like China, they would be executed with a shot to the back of the head and their families would receive a bill to pay for the bullet, a long standing tradition in China. In an Islamist dictatorship like Iran, they would be dangling from the end of the cable of a Japanese made construction crane – usually yellow but sometimes also blue.
But they are not in the US, China or Iran – they are in the banana republic. So let me describe to you how things will unfold in Israel.
One of them, usually the oldest and the one with the poorest health, poor thing, will become a state witness. In return for far reaching legal and financial benefits that the state attorney would offer him, he will testify against his friends. The lawyers of the main defendants will agree with the attorney disgraceful plea bargains under which they will admit some of the lesser charges and in return will be given community service work and suspended sentences. As the light sentences would serve as precedencies in this affair, the learned judges will feel that they cannot be harsher with the other defendants. After serving their sentences, if at all, most of the accused will return to their normal lives as if nothing happened, laughing all the way to the bank.
And as to the residents who were cheated and received sub-standard integral bomb shelters – most of them will just live with these shelters and pray that the rockets would fall somewhere else. A prayer, even if it was not always helpful, has never caused any damage.