An Israeli Ex-PM Goes to Prison -- Lessons for Hillary

No one's "too big to jail."

In a memorable debate with the caustic Socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders on January 17, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that “no individual is too powerful to jail.” Hillary may yet live to regret those words but that axiom proved to be true half-way around the world in Israel.

This past Monday, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s former disgraced prime minister began serving the beginning of a 19-month sentence for crimes and misdemeanors relating to graft, public corruption and obstruction of justice. His original sentence was substantially longer but a sympathetic appellate court knocked off a few years. 

He’ll be spending the next nineteen months at Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle in a wing designed to keep him away from the general population. A man holding that many secrets requires segregation lest he be exposed to extortion or other nefarious schemes designed to elicit state secrets. 

He joins former Israel president, Moshe Katzav, a convicted rapist who is currently serving a 7-year term at the same prison in the same wing. No doubt the two will spend long nights trading anecdotes and conspiracy theories on how everyone – including the right-wing – was out to get them.

When it came to corruption, Olmert was as dirty as they come. His malfeasance transcended his term as prime minister and extended all the way to his tenure as Jerusalem’s mayor. There were multiple criminal prosecutions involving public corruption and breach of public trust lodged against him. He stood accused of a plethora of misdeeds including surreptitiously accepting cash-stuffed envelopes and gifts from wealthy financiers, greasing the bureaucratic wheels for dirty contractors and trying to use his influence with adversary witnesses to change their testimony or lie under oath. 

When investigators got close and Olmert began feeling the heat, some suggested that he shifted his political leanings leftward in the hope of gaining some grace with Israel’s notorious leftist media. Thus, he began advocating unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and dividing Jerusalem. He even entertained the notion of accepting Palestinian “refugees” into Israel – a position that is an anathema to all but the most rabid of Israeli leftists – and appealed to Abbas to accept his overly generous terms. 

Had Palestinian Authority “President for Life” Mahmoud Abbas accepted, it may have thrown off the trajectory of the criminal probe. But Abbas never bothered offering a response to Olmert’s entreaties demonstrating the utter disingenuousness of Israel’s so-called peace partner and throwing Olmert’s plan off kilter.

In 2010, Israel became a full-fledged member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In so doing, it joined a prestigious list of 34 nations considered developed enough to gain accession. In the past three decades, Israel had made great strides in rooting out corruption, a legacy of past labor-led Socialist governments and this effort no doubt played a role in the OECD’s decision to accept Israel as a member. But the smug and arrogant Olmert, who thought he was above the law, never got the memo. He’s now got nineteen months to reflect on the charges and legal proceedings against him which he no doubt will blame on some vast right-wing conspiracy to nail him.

Fat cats that big can never accept culpability and the notion that they are capable of misconduct, which leads us to the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham-Clinton and her January 17th comment concerning crime and punishment. 

There are currently over one-hundred FBI agents probing her email scandal and their investigation has widened to include whether Clinton co-mingled State Department and Clinton Foundation business. Generally speaking, The FBI does not commence an investigation unless they believe that criminality is afoot. Moreover, the fact that they’ve assigned that many agents to the case and have broadened their probe can only lead to the logical conclusion that the fish are biting – and biting hard.

Clinton initially denied having sent any classified emails on her almost certainly compromised, unsecured public server. Well we now know that this was certainly not the case and that at least 1,666 emails were classified and 22 emails were top secret and their exposure placed lives and methods of intelligence gathering at risk.

Then of course, there’s the issue of whether Clinton used her position as secretary of state to advance the foreign interests of those who contributed vast sums to the Clinton Foundation or otherwise provided the Clintons’ with speaking engagement fees. Of interest will be a convoluted and complex energy deal that allowed a Russian company to obtain 20 percent ownership of America’s uranium reserves. Those deposits are considered to be a strategic asset thereby requiring State Department approval for transfer to a foreign entity. Clinton Okayed the deal.  A paper trail from that transaction reveals that the Clintons’ and their foundation benefited from substantial donations issued by entities with vested interests in ensuring the Russian acquisition of the uranium deposits. Clinton was required to publicly disclose these contributions but never did.

In typical condescending and dismissive fashion, Clinton denied any wrong-doing and insisted that she was “100 percent confident” that she would not be indicted. Funny, Ehud Olmert said the same thing.