February 25, 2007

A Foul on Betar's Boss

Another bribery investigation and, once again it stinks of political motivation. It seems they hardly bother to hide it any more!

A few days ago, Russian billionaire Arkady Gaydamak announced that he was forming a new political party. Initial polls showed him capable of commanding 14 Knesset seats. That’s about double what Olmert’s Kadima is currently polling.

Time for another police investigation – made to order.

Now it’s over tickets to a football game, allegedly given by football club owner Gaydamak as a bribe to no less than Prime Minister Olmert’s bureau chief, Shula Zaken.

Even if taken seriously, surely it should be Zaken who should be under investigation for accepting such a ‘bribe’ and ought she not to have been suspended when the allegations were first aired?

Zaken started out as Olmert’s secretary in his private law practice more than 20 years ago. She followed him to the Jerusalem mayor’s office, the Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office.

This is the same Shula Zaken who was put under 10 days’ house arrest last month accused of taking bribes, breach of trust and obstructing police investigating allegations that she had abused her position to influence the appointment of senior tax officials in return for tax benefits.

Olmert seems adept in moulding his staff to his own corrupt image. Like the three other prime ministerial aides who tried to rescue his close friend and former Justice Minister Chaim Ramon in the closing stages of his trial on charges of sexual misconduct. The trio tried to discredit Ramon’s victim with testimony over a supposed cafeteria conversation. Their sworn testimony was totally discounted by the trial judges.

Where Olmert and his aides and cronies are concerned, the old Yiddish expression rings true: ‘the fish stinks from the head’.

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