Bermuda Post

Friday, Oct 23, 2020

Israelis protest against Netanyahu's corruption case (left), government handling of COVID-19 (both) and corruption in the legal system (right)

In Israel, there have been ongoing protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, partially against the handling of the corona virus pandemic by the government. But deep inside, they are part of a long-running power-game between non-elected bureaucrats who hold key controls in the legal system but who under heavy criticism about their apparent corruption, and democratically-elected politicians who are also involved in questionable activities that are at best unethical, and at worst criminal.
Benjamin Netanyahu is facing corruption charges, in a country that has a very long history of fictitious prosecution of innocent politicians, generally those not from the left-wing side that has ruled the legal system since the state was founded. On the other hand, the prosecutors and High Court judges who oppose Netanyahu's victory in the election are also under increasing public criticism, because of serious corruption in which unequivocal evidence shows that they themselves are involved.

The whole system itself is in question and subject to serious structural doubts. It is not clear which of the parties is the more corrupt, if at all. Even the fundamental question of who controls Israel - the bureaucracy or democracy - is a great emotional controversy, saturated on both sides with legitimate and illegitimate interests.

All this is happening at a time when the country's citizens must be more united than ever to face up to some very serious problems: Coronavirus; the collapsing mass-market economy; Iran; Hezbollah; Palestine; the Bedouin. And over-shadowing them all, the chance (or the risk - for "Trump of Israel"), that Joe Biden will be the next elected president of the United States. Should that happen, it will deprive Israel of its absolute power to continue to do with/in the United States (and its worldwide allies) and in Israel whatever it wants and needs to protect its policies and supremacy in key fields.
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