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 "The corruption we are facing now is terrible. It's almost at an epidemic level."

Is Israel its own  worst enemy its self? Have the external pressures of the country caused it to begin to eat itself up from within ? Can this democratic state withstand the pressures of corruption? Will positive needed governance at all levels of Israeli society be enough  so that l Israel  will not become like many other Meditteranean nations --Greece and Italy come to mind ? 

When North American Jew give their money to Israel what assurances are there that the money is going to where is meant to go. What percent is going for Administration ?  The answer, I fear, is an ever increasing amount. Part of the problem is that North American Jewry has been stupidly not willing to be critical of Israel in its political matters of fair and equitable governance. We in North America must be at least as critical as the Israeli press is of Israel.
We want Israel to be a strong democratic state where its political and democratic institutions are not put into question by needles corruption giving our true enemies -and there are many- the ability to attempt to harm our beloved Jewish state. Critical dialogue which is well intended by Diaspora Jewry will make Israel stronger not weaker.
Alan Levy is an Assoc. Professor at Brandon University and teaches in the International Graduate Program at Tel Aviv University.



by Alan Levy, December 30, 2010

The special panel of judges appointed for the trial of former President Moshe Katsav was comprised of the chair, the meticulous Judge George Karra, and two female judges, Miriam Sokolov, who has vast experience in sex crimes cases, and Judith Shevach, who once showed leniency to a defendant due to her disapproval of the media conduct around his trial. Katsav, who has just  been convicted  by these judges of rape and sexual assualt  could be going to Prison from four to sixteen years.
The decision demonstrate once again the strength of the Israeli democracy. There is no other country in the Middle East that would put its past President on trial for his inappropriate behaviour. Israeli internet sites state: Katsav was born in Yazd, Iran in 1945. Even as an adult he can speak fluent Farsi. Katsav was Israel's first President to have been born in an Islamic country. Katsav enlisted into the Israel Defense Forces in 1964. He reached the rank of corporal in the Communications Corps.

Katsav began his political career at age 24 when he became mayor of Kiryat Malachi - making him the youngest ever mayor of an Israeli city. In 1981, Katsav was elected to the Knesset representing the Likud Party. He remained in the Knesset until becoming president. As a member of the Knesset, Katsav served as the deputy Minister of Construction and Housing, the Minister of Labor and Welfare, the Transportation Minister, and the Minister of Tourism. He served as the Deputy Prime Minister under Benjamin Netanyahu.

The public positions filled by Moshe Katsav include Chairman of the Iranian Immigrants Organization, Chairman of the commission to determine higher education tuition, and Member of Ben-Gurion University Board of Trustees. In addition, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Following the resignation of then-President Ezer Weizman in 2000, Katsav was selected as the Likud candidate for the presidency. Israeli Presidents are elected by a secret ballot of all members of the Knesset. In a surprise upset, Katsav defeated Labor Party candidate, Shimon Peres, by a vote of 63 to 57. He was sworn in as Israel's eighth president for his seven-year term of office on August 1, 2000.

Within Israel  a number of political leaders have been  charged for inappropriate behaviour such as the former Primer Minister and Mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert related to finance matters .

"I am very worried about what I see," says Daniel Kayros, an attorney with the advocacy group Movement for Quality Governance in Israel. He stated to the BBC recently.

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