Obama wouldn't survive in Israel
By RON FESTINGER
The little property affair that was exposed in Obama's past would have shocked us here to the tips of our middle fingers. We have to learn from the Americans a lesson in proportion.
Barring unforeseen developments at the last moment, it appears that Senator Barack Obama will chosen as the next president of the United States.
Without relating to the deep apprehensions that this choice awakens, there is no question that if Obama resided in the State of Israel, he wouldn't be able today to run for head of government, and perhaps not for any public office whatsoever; on the contrary he would find himself entangled up to his neck in serious criminal charges, on bribery and breach of trust.
At a time when prosecutors and police from all over our country come and go in their investigations, and to feverish deliberations on how to frame the indictment against Prime Minister Olmert, after they made sure he was forced out without an indictment, on the contrary on the basis of an industry of hearsay, broadcasts and newspaper headlines on breaches of trust and conflicts of interest, in the hope that in the end they would succeed in proving that he shoved some small change into his pocket, it might pay to gaze well how they deal with an affair far more grave in the U.S.
In 2005, after he was elected to the US Senate from the State of Illinois and had been an elected public official for years, Obama sought to purchase a home in a prestigious neighborhood in Chicago. Unfortunately for him, he didn't have enough money at his disposal |(for the house and the adjoining lot), and at the end purchased the home for $1,650,000. Of the land beside the home, including the garden including trees and bushes, his good friend purchased, his contributor and supporter for 20 years, a rich contractor from Chicago of Syrian origin by the name of Tony Rezko, at the price of $104,500. Mr. Rezko approved the exclusive right to Obama to use this lot of land beside his new home for the good of the Obama family.
When asked about this, according to reports published in the US, when the affair was publicized, Obama said in commenting to news media, that it was a "boneheaded mistake," in his words, and he won't do it again.
In the meantime Rezko was convicted in federal court of corruption and aiding and abetting bribery, which is not connected to the affair before us.
It goes without saying that no investigation was opened, no indictment presented, no ethics problem raised, no examination by an ombudsman, and even Obama's rival in the race, Senator McCain, only mentioned that affair when he was accused himself by his rival that he didn't know how many homes he owned.
There is no question that in Israel they would have preferred serious charges against Obama involving bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. No one would go easy on him. On the basis of the judgment against (former cabinet minister) Aryeh Deri, Israeli courts would send him to prison for five years. He'd be released after three years for good behavior. And what's happening in the real world? He's about to be chosen to the most powerful position in the entire world, in another few days.
There remains the quesion -- what is the essential difference between the Israeli and American public and legal approach (to these matters)? Is our country more corrupt than the US? Is the approach of one or the other countries exaggerated and excessive?