No Righteous Individual in Sodom

By Sima Kadmon, columnist at Yedioth Ahronoth

If anyone feels shame, affront, sadness, frustration and despair today—there is no way to ease these feelings. These are our ministers and MKs. This is our prime minister and his bureau staff, who despite how it looks [to the public], pushed and pushed the disgraceful bill that passed last night, with one goal in mind: To preserve Netanyahu’s hold on power.

It was not done secretly, not in the dark; we, the Israeli public, were mugged in broad daylight and in full view. We were robbed of our elementary right to know what public figures are accused of. We have been denied the privilege that every citizen in a democratic country has, to know for whom they are voting.
Despite the cumulative experience that the Israeli public has, we were hard put to believe that this would happen. That our legislature would indeed reach the bottom of the cesspit into which it has fallen, and that such a foul, despicable and anti-democratic bill would be passed into law.

The “recommendations bill” is a euphemistic, misleading and confusing name. The “Bibi bill” is its correct name. A bill that prevents the publication of the police’s recommendations to the State Attorney’s Office, so that the public will not know what its prime minister is accused of.
If everything goes according to the timetable set by Amsalem and Bitan, after the bill passed its first reading last night, it will go into effect within less than a month. This means that the prime minister will be able to initiate early elections without fearing that the public will know the accusations against him. In other words, within a few months we may get Netanyahu once again as prime minister, good as new, while the police allegedly recommend indicting him for bribe-taking and fraud.

Until last night we still hoped that something would happen. That perhaps the police would expedite the interminable investigation and would hurry to submit its recommendations. That the Knesset would raise an outcry over the attempt to pass such an ad hominem bill. We also hoped that Moshe Kahlon, the person who joined the government with bombastic statements that he would not permit the rule of law to be undermined, would stop the disgrace at the right moment. So we hoped. None of this materialized. Conversely, what took place over the past two weeks is a shameful display that will yet be talked about for many years. Those taking part in it are MKs, ministers and first and foremost, the prime minister.

It starts with the bill’s sponsor, David Amsalem, who started with a bill that was supposed to help ordinary people and ended with a privileged bill designed to help one person. It continued with the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which enabled such a bill to emerge from under its hands. It is Coalition Chairman David Bitan, who turned over the bill to the Interior Committee that is headed by Amsalem, despite the fact that it was not supposed to go there. It is Amsalem and Bitan, who made sure to replace the committee member Benny Begin, just because he objected to having the bill apply to investigations that had already begun. And it is Moshe Kahlon, who backed down from his position and his promises and let the bill pass—just as Netanyahu wanted.

And it is also the justice minister. And the education minister. And the defense minister. And the Likud ministers, who continue to back the prime minister although they comprehend the depth of the corruption. Is there no righteous individual in the government of Sodom who will rise and say, “This is a deal-breaker, I am willing to go because of this bill?” Is there no end to the all systems-collapse that is taking place in this country? Where is the boy to stick his finger in the dike, to say that the emperor has no clothes?

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