The Bush letter nine years on

April 14, 2013

(Carl) Rick Richman reminds us that Sunday is the 9th anniversary of the famous Bush letter that effectively promised Israel the ‘settlement blocs.’ At the time, the letter was overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses of Congress, but in 2009, President Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, tried to pretend that it didn’t exist, and Obama has continued to behave as if the letter did not exist.
US Secretary of State John FN Kerry is unable to pretend the letter didn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to back Israel’s position. Rick Richman explains.

At an April 9 press conference in Tel Aviv, Bow Shapira from Israeli TV (Channel 1) told Kerry he wanted to ask about “a guarantee from the past”–the 2004 Bush letter, which he described as “telling that blocs of settlements can stay, cannot [be] removed from the territory.” His question about the guarantee was straightforward: “well, does it exist?” Kerry responded in part as follows:

I remember that commitment very well because I was running for president then, and I personally have supported the notion that the situation on the ground has changed, and obviously, we’re talking about blocs that are in a very different status. I’m not going to get into telling you what ought to happen with respect to any particular piece of geography today because that’s for the parties to decide in their negotiation. But I have certainly supported the notion publicly myself that we need to deal with the ’67 lines, plus the swaps that reflect some of the changes that have taken place since then.

It is not surprising that Kerry remembered the commitment so well. He appeared on “Meet the Press” on April 18, 2004–four days after the Bush letter was issued–and was asked directly about it by Tim Russert:

MR. RUSSERT: On Thursday, President Bush … said that Israel can keep part of the land seized in the 1967 Middle East War and asserted the Palestinian refugees cannot go back to their particular homes. Do you support President Bush?
MR. RUSSERT: Completely?

Kerry’s response to the Israeli reporter last week is significant, because he recognized: (1) that the Bush letter was in fact a commitment, subsequently endorsed by both the Senate (95-3) and the House (407-9) in concurrent resolutions; and (2) that he supported it at the time, in unambiguous terms.

But it is indicative of the continuing problem President Obama created with his refusal in 2009 to endorse the Bush letter that an Israeli reporter felt it necessary to ask whether the U.S. commitment exists. The president has been attempting to assure Israelis with his have-your-back, all-options-on-the-table rhetorical commitments, but they remember that in the past he did not feel constrained to respect even a written commitment to Israel.

Given that Obama doesn’t live up to his commitments, why should Israel give up real assets to appease him?



Report: #Hagel Said #Israel Headed Toward #Apartheid, #Netanyahu a ‘Radical’

February 19, 2013
(Report: Hagel Said Israel Headed Toward Apartheid, Netanyahu a ‘Radical’ | Washington Free Beacon)

February 19, 2013 12:51 pm
Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel said Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state during an April 9, 2010, appearance at Rutgers University, according to a contemporaneous account by an attendee.
Hagel also accused Israel of violating U.N. resolutions, called for U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas to be included in any peace negotiations, and described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “radical,” according to the source.
Kenneth Wagner, who attended the 2010 speech while a Rutgers University law student, provided the Washington Free Beacon with an email he sent during the event to a contact at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The email is time-stamped April 9, 2010, at 11:37 AM.
“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”
“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.
AIPAC had no comment.
Wagner said the remarks were made during the Q amp;A session. The speech took place at the Rutgers School of Law in Newark.
Wagner, a pro-Israel activist, reiterated the account in an interview with the Free Beacon and called Hagel’s comments “pretty shocking.”
“I was very surprised at his attitude because I had been listening to politicians speak about the situation in the Middle East and the U.S. Israel relationship for about two decades,” Wagner told the Free Beacon. “And it was probably the most negative thing I’d ever heard anybody in elected office say.”
The news of the comments given during the 2010 speech comes at a time when the embattled secretary of defense nominee has been forced to respond to a report that he called the State Department an adjunct of the Israeli foreign ministry during the Q amp;A portion of a 2007 speech at Rutgers.
The Free Beacon reported Thursday on a contemporaneous account of another speech then-Senator Hagel gave at Rutgers in 2007. The report, written by Hagel supporter and political consultant George Ajjan, claimed Hagel had described the U.S. Department of State as an extension of the Israeli government.
Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte on Friday sent a letter to Hagel requesting an explanation of the alleged comments. The Anti-Defamation League also called on Hagel to explain, and the American Jewish Committee said, “Further Senate deliberation is called for before any final vote is taken.”
Hagel has disavowed the remarks and says he does not recall making them.
“I do not recall making any such statement, or ever making any similar statement,” he wrote in a reply letter to Graham and Ayotte on February 16. “I completely disavow the content of the alleged statement attributed to me.”
According to one of the 2007 event’s organizers, Hooshang Amirahmadi, who is currently running for president of Iran, Ajjan’s account of the 2007 speech is “complete nonsense.”
Amirahmadi told the Free Beacon that some of his “very good Jewish colleagues who are very pro-Israel” did not appear offended at any point during the speech.
The Daily Caller reported on Monday that Amirahmadi accepted funding grants from the Alavi Foundation, which federal law enforcement officials have called a front group for the Iranian regime.
Amirahmadi is also the head of the American Iranian Council, which awarded Hagel an expensive clock in 2002.
Another attendee at the 2007 speech, Rutgers Professor Charles Häberl said he is “certain” Hagel did not say the State Department was an adjunct of the Israeli government, BuzzFeed reported today.
When the Free Beacon contacted Häberl about the 2007 speech last Thursday, he said he was not the best person to talk to about the event.
“Have you been in touch with Hooshang Amirahmadi?” Häberl wrote in an email. “He’s the one who organized the event, and he would be the best situated to talk about it. At the time, I was just a lecturer.”
Meanwhile, Ajjan stood by his account and said he is the only person who has provided a written report from the time.
“If somebody comes out with a transcript and those words aren’t uttered, I’d be the first one to say, ‘My apologies. I wrote something down that was wrong—I misheard it, or I misreported it,’ if that’s the case,” Ajjan told the Washington Free Beacon.
“I’m a conscientious person,” Ajjan said. “When I was blogging at that time, I did my best to record things accurately … there’s no way that I would pick a phrase like ‘adjunct of the Israeli foreign ministry.’ That’s a pretty odd combination of words to use. I wouldn’t have just pulled those out of thin air.”
When asked about Häberl disputing his account, Ajjan said he wants to make it clear he is not trying to undermine Hagel’s confirmation or the Rutgers event. He said he is still a supporter of Hagel.
“I suppose [Häberl] thinks that I’m somehow trying to disparage Chuck Hagel or cast a dark shadow over his confirmation hearings. That’s not the case at all. And I certainly don’t wish to besmirch the people who organized the event,” said Ajjan. “I very much enjoyed the event, I appreciate the people who organized it.”
The Free Beacon is working to obtain transcript and video of Hagel’s comments during the question and answer sessions at Rutgers in both 2007 and 2010, and is continuing to speak to others who attended both events.
A representative for Hagel did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Time for some more research into what really happened here

To #CBS’ #BobSimon, Israelis deserve to be blown up if #settlements are built

February 19, 2013

(EOZ)(h/t O)Of course, he wouldn’t characterize it this way, but how else can you explain this bizarre linkage he suggests?

The $270 million the U.S. has provided Israel to help build Iron Dome is in addition to the three billion dollars Israel gets annually from the U.S. in military aid. Palestinians complain that while all this U.S. support is being given to Israel, the Israeli government has repeatedly defied U.S. policy and approved the construction of new settlement blocks in the West Bank.
Bob Simon: The Americans have already given $270 million dollars.
Ehud Barak: More than this, I believe, along the, yeah.
Bob Simon: And they’re promising just the Iron Dome another $660 million–
Ehud Barak: Yeah. Yeah. $680– probably $211 might be given in the coming fiscal year.
Bob Simon: While the Americans are helping you so much in your defense. Israel goes on building settlements, which is exactly what the Americans don’t want. How does that work, when you’re asking America for help and doing exactly what the Americans don’t want you to do?
….How does it work? I mean, right now, Israel has just announced the building of a gigantic settlement project. This is at the same time that the Americans are providing the money for Israel’s most important defense system.

So if Israel builds settlements, Simon is saying, then the US should no longer help fund Iron Dome to save Israeli lives from rocket attacks. Israelis in Ashkelon must die because the Knesset allows Jews to build houses in their historic homeland.

Summary: (sabril) Do commentators like Bob Simon ask similar questions about US aid to or support for Egypt? To the Palestinian Authority? To the United Nations? To Turkey? (jzaik) …Who controls whom here. Simon is saying that the Americans are paying israelis. Bill maher is saying we’re controlled by the israelis. (singingt) how valuable is Israeli technology to the US?

Jews building settlements in Judea and Samaria is legal

January 2, 2013
By Salomon Benzimra, author of the book: The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel (

First and foremost, the first five pages of the Levy Report (“Legal Argument”) clearly summarizes why Israel is not an occupying power in Judea and Samaria – and East Jerusalem – and, therefore, why the settlements are not illegal. You can find the English version of these 5 pages here:

The following are the points on which this claim rests:

1. The legality of the “settlements” cannot be dissociated from the notion of “occupation.” As long as Israel is viewed as an “occupying power,” not only the “settlements” can be construed as illegal but the whole of Israel becomes “occupied territory” since there is no difference between land acquired or repossessed – a better term would be “liberated” – in 1967 and 1948-49 respectively.

2. The Fourth Hague Regulation of 1907 defines “occupation” in Article 43: it presupposes that “the authority of the legitimate power …passed into the hands of the occupant.” The annexation of Judea & Samaria (renamed in 1950 “The West Bank’) by Jordan has never been recognized as “legitimate.”

3. The San Remo Resolution (April 1920) integrated the Balfour Declaration(November 1917) to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (June 1919) and resulted in the following:

3a: The provisions of the Balfour Declaration (i.e. the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine) became binding upon Britain, which the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers selected as the Mandatory Power in the land.

3b. The establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine was no longer a mere a British foreign policy decision, but became an act of international law.

3c. Pursuant to the San Remo Resolution, in July 1922, the Mandate for Palestine was confirmed, approved by the 52 members of the League of Nations and entered into force in September 1923.

3d. No “special rights” were conferred to the Jewish people. The Supreme Council recognized a pre-existing rightby calling for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine – and not the “creation” – it being clearly understood that it would turn, in time, into a sovereign Jewish State, pending on an expected Jewish population majority.

4. Following the Churchill White Paper – the official British policy for Palestine – of June 1922, Britain separated the Transjordan part of Palestine – the land east of the Jordan River – and made it an exclusively Arab land where no organized Jewish settlement was allowed, as per the inserted Article 25 of the Mandate. However, in “western Palestine” – from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – all the provisions of the Jewish National Home were upheld, including the encouragement of Jewish settlement of all lands (as per Article 6).

5. When the League of Nations ceased to exist, in 1946, following the creation of its heir, the United Nations, the acquired rights of the Jewish people remained enshrined in the UN Charter (Article 80).

6. The UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended a further partition of the remaining “western Palestine” into a Jewish State and an ArabState. Had this recommendation been accepted by both parties, the terms of the Mandate would have been superseded. But that was not the case, due to the Arabs’ rejection of the Resolution. Besides, the recommendationformulated in UNGA Res. 181 violated the UN Charter (Article 80) and the terms of the Mandate, still in force in 1947, especially Article 5 which prohibited the cession of any territory of Palestine to a foreign power.

7. Since no agreement occurred in 1947 pertaining to a further partition of Palestine, and no other binding agreement has been entered into between Israel and the Arabs ever since, which might affect the Jewish sovereignty over western Palestine, the provisions of the Mandate still hold, and especially the title to the land, vested in the Jewish people and that includes Judea and Samaria.

8. Point #7 therefore refutes the notion of Israel being an “occupying power” in any part of western Palestine –From the River to the Sea – since one cannot occupy land on which it has legal title.

9. Because the State of Israel is not an “occupying power” in any part of western Palestine, it follows that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply.This is especially true for Article 49 which deals with transfer and deportation of populations to and from occupied territories, in addition to other legal aspects (the nature of the Contracting Parties, the non-forcible transfers, etc.), and the preposterous situation of ethnic cleansing, which the Arabs demand that would result in making Judea and Samaria judenrein.

Conclusion: The claim that it is illegal for Jews to build in Judea and Samaria and that Israel “occupies” the land is an utter lie, arises from deliberate ignorance, pandering to the Arab/Muslim world, anti-Semitism or all of the above combined.

Guest Comment:
Statement: International law, under which Judea and Samaria is part of the legal land of the state of Israel has become a political law and thus the world has come to believe that Israel has no claim to any land beyond the ‘Green Line’.

All the UN resolutions condemning Israel on the “settlements” are based on lies, totally ignoring international law that has become international political law.

It is just like admitting that the existence of the Palestinian Authority and its recent “promotion” in the UN is based on going AGAINST the UN charter, AGAINST the Montevideo Agreement on what determines a state to be, etc. It’s exactly the same.

The main problem is not the lack of pertinent international law, but rather the practical irrelevance of any such law in a world that still basks in ritualistic anti-Semitism. Europe, as the always-residual source of such hatred, will never support Israel, irrespective of authoritative international law. Hence, the core problem here is not jurisprudential, but geopolitical. This is a problem that must be solved by Israelis only.

In the meantime, Israel is NOT making its legal case for construction in Judea and Samaria and is not defending itself. As it stands now, if Israel continues to build beyond the ‘Green Line’, the European Union may even begin taking harsher punitive measures against it.  As long as the government of Israel does not promote the jurisprudence that the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are legal, world pressure will continue and get even worse.

We need to push back! And we begin right here with the facts and truth. Every time we see anyone complaining about the illegality of the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria we send them the below explanation as our reply. The government of Israel needs to use this one page as well. Enough of the lies.

Below is a 9-point summary explaining why Jews building in Judea and Samaria is NOT illegal. One page with the facts that settlements in Judea and Samaria are NOT illegal to act as a tool to push back and defend Israel from the anti-Semites in Europe and beyond.

Nurit Greenger

Moral behavior and Jewish rights

August 18, 2012

(Fresno)if Israel begins negotiating from the position that it is occupying someone else’s land, then the only thing there is to negotiate is the timetable for withdrawal. This is precisely the Palestinian position, and it is also reflected in the Arab League Peace Initiative.

The recent Levy Commission report — perhaps many years late — tries to reestablish these legitimate rights under international law:

“According to international law, Israelis have a legal right to settle all of Judea and Samaria, at the very least the lands that Israel controls under agreements with the Palestinian Authority,” Levy stated. “Therefore, the establishment of Jewish settlements [in Judea and Samaria] is, in itself, not illegal.” …The committee issued its report on [July 10, 2012], which was subsequently handed over to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. In the report, Levy wrote that “upon completing the committee’s tasks, and considering the testimonies heard, the basic conclusion is that from an international law perspective, the laws of ‘occupation’ do not apply to the unique historic and legal circumstances surrounding Israel’s decades-long presence in Judea and Samaria.”
“Likewise,” the report said, “the Fourth Geneva Convention [relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] on the transfer of populations does not apply, and wasn’t intended to apply to communities such as those established by Israel in Judea and Samaria.” (MORE)

We’re All "Settlers"

August 16, 2012

(Shiloh)It really blows my mind that so many Israelis think that they have more rights to their homes in other parts of Israel than I have to mine here in Shiloh. They absolutely hate it when our enemies lump us all together in the same illegal sic category. They consider themselves more acceptably “kosher*” than I am.(MORE)

It is all of us. Not just in Israel. All of us are settlers. All of us have to protect our homes

Former Israeli PM Olmert cleared of charges that drove him from office

July 10, 2012

(Olmert headlines offer short-term hype | The Times of Israel) Interestingly, only two papers give front-page prominence to the story that was all the talk yesterday, namely the release of a legal report announcing that Israel is not the occupying force everybody believes it to be. One might expect that a paper penned by a former Supreme Court justice and commissioned by the prime minister, which recommends legalizing most West Bank outposts and strikes at the heart of Israel’s national character, would make more noise. But as it happens only Haaretz and Israel Hayom thought it was Page 1-worthy.
Haaretz, as might be expected of a stalwart left-wing publication, comes out against the report’s findings with a front-page editorial calling for its shredding. Israel Hayom meanwhile highlights the report’s warm embrace by the right and its calls for the government to adopt the findings and shift policies accordingly.

I’m glad Olmert was cleared and I’m glad Olmert was wronged

(Washington Post) GALI TIBBON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES – Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the press at the District Court in Jerusalem on Tuesday after hearing the verdict in his trial where he was acquitted on two key corruption charges while finding him guilty on a lesser charge.

JERUSALEM – An Israeli court on Tuesday cleared former prime minister Ehud Olmert of two corruption charges–including a bribery accusation that led to his resignation in 2008, as he was trying to negotiate peace with the Palestinians–but convicted him of a lesser charge of fraud and breach of trust.
While some commentators hailed the mixed verdict as proof of an independent justice system, the decision was widely viewed as an embarrassing blow to Israeli prosecutors, and it raised questions about whether an overly-aggressive investigation had wrongly driven Olmert from office.
Olmert was convicted of fraud and breach of trust in connection with a case dating to 2006, when he was a government minister. But he was acquitted of more serious charges that he had pocketed envelopes stuffed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a wealthy New Yorker, Morris Talansky, and that he double-billed state agencies and charities for overseas flights while he was a minister and mayor of Jerusalem.
“There was no corruption. There was no taking of money, there was no use of money, there were no cash envelopes,” Olmert said after the ruling on Tuesday.
Olmert was thrust to power in 2006 after his then-boss, former prime minister, Ariel Sharon, suffered a stroke. Olmert led Israel through an inconclusive but damaging war with the Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah that summer and re-started long-dormant negotiations with the Palestinians in 2007.
At the time, those talks appeared to have little traction, and they were cut short by an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip in late 2008 and early 2009.
Elections after Olmert’s resignation ushered in the current administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his conservative Likud party. Peace talks have been essentially moribund since.
Yoel Hasson, a lawmaker from Olmert’s centrist Kadima party, told the Israeli news Web site on Tuesday that he hoped Olmert would return to politics. The corruption accusations, he said, had “wronged one of the best prime ministers Israel has ever had…the Israeli public finally understands that a prime minister was impeached for nothing.”
After Olmert’s resignation, both he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said they were close to a pact in 2008. Former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has written that Olmert secretly presented a map for a Palestinian state that included international control of holy sites in Jerusalem, but Abbas did not agree to it.

Caroline Glick..
11 July ’12..
(Love of the Land: Glick – Thoughts on Olmert’s partial acquittal)I have not had the opportunity to read the court decision on Olmert. And so my thoughts on his acquittal have little to do with the merits of the prosecution in the three cases adjudicated by the Jerusalem District Court.
I have a problem with corruption investigations against politicians generally and against Ehud Olmert specifically. In general, I find these sorts of investigations against politicians inherently biased. I take my cue from the Federalist Papers, and there I believe it was James Madison who explained that the presumption has to be that politicians are all corrupt. Their power puts them in contact with powerful and wealthy men who use their proximity to politicians to advance their interests. The larger government is – that is, the larger government’s influence over the economic life of a society, the greater the likelihood of corruption. The more power a politician exerts over the economy, the larger his propensity to take bribes from people interested in making a profit.
This is the way of the world. And in our world, where governments control enormous welfare states and therefore exert massive influence over the economic life of a country, the assumption ought to be that all politicians are corrupt.
This assumption then leads to the clear conclusion that every corruption investigation and prosecution of politicians is inherently discriminatory. If all politicians are on the take to greater or lesser degrees, then the decision regarding who to investigate is essentially a decision about who to single out. And therefore, all corruption investigations of politicians are by their nature unjust. The investigations are themselves corrupt.
These understandings led Madison and his colleagues to the conclusion that all government should be limited as much as possible. It also led them to call for a system of checks and balances so that all arms of government checked one another’s power.
In Israel, (and increasingly in the US as we see with the Obamacare ruling), the third branch of government – the judiciary – has become increasingly unhinged from this system. In Israel, the judiciary has effectively co-opted the state prosecution. Under the de facto control of the judiciary, the prosecution has leveraged itself into a position where, like the judiciary, it appoints and promotes its own without answering to elected officials. This situation has weakened severely Israel’s democratic system, attenuating the ability of the public to control its government or trust its institutions.
It is due to these twin issues – the assumption that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely and therefore all people with power can be assumed to be corrupt; and the imperial nature of Israel’s legal system – that I view all corruption scandals in Israel with great suspicion. We have consistently seen the tendency of the legal fraternity to selectively prosecute corruption allegations in order to advance the fortunes of the Left against the Right.
And this brings me to my special difficulty with the legal prosecution of Olmert.
Objectively speaking, Olmert was the worst prime minister that Israel has ever had. And that is saying a lot. He had stiff competition from Ehud Barak, but he managed to outdo him in incompetence and general failure to meet the challenge of the office he aspired to in his unmitigated shamelessness and hubris.
Olmert lost the war with Hezbollah in 2006. He lost Israel’s campaign against Hamas in 2008-2009. He failed to block Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. He weakened Israel’s international position and its alliance with the US. And so on and so forth.
The public never forgave him for his failed leadership in the 2006 war. And rightly so. There can be no forgivIng or forgetting his decision to send forces to their deaths in battle AFTER he had already accepted the ceasefire ensuring that none of their action would make any difference. I believe that 34 IDF soldiers died in the last 36 hours of the war that took place AFTER Olmert had agreed to the ceasefire.
And this brings us to the issue of his alleged corruption.
The Israeli media specifically, and the left generally holds the lion’s share of responsibility for the outbreak of the 2006 war due to its massive propaganda campaign to coerce successive governments into withdrawing from southern Lebanon in 2000. Had Israel not run away in May 2000, Hezbollah would not have been free to attack Israel in 2006. It’s that simple.
In 2006, the media were unwilling to acknowledge the cause for the war – them. So right after it was over, they sought to bury it and forget all about it. But the public would not put it behind them. The reservists called up to serve in the war and risk their lives for a war their government decided to lose formed a protest movement and marched on Jerusalem demanding Olmert’s resignation.
The establishment tried to deflect their anger first by seeking to discredit them. Led by Channel 10’s Raviv Drucker, the media sought to castigate the reservists by accusing them of being closet right wingers whose only goal was to avenge the expulsions from Gaza.
When that didn’t work, they tried to punt by forming the Winograd Commission to investigate the war. The mandate of the committee was to begin its investigation with what happened AFTER the unilateral withdrawal of May 2000. By so determining the mandate of the commission, the establishment ensured that no attention would be paid to the cause of the war – Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon.
But even the Winograd Commission’s findings couldn’t assuage the public’s hatred for Olmert. So the media decided to sacrifice him to the wolves of the state prosecution on corruption charges. They decided that Olmert had to be sacrificed to protect their ideology. And so he was. It is a scandal of historic proportions that Olmert was ousted for anything other than his unforgivably failed leadership of the country in war. His alleged corruption was at best a tertiary concern.
There is now some talk of Olmert making a political comeback. All I can say to that is that if the Israeli public is stupid enough to allow him back in power, then we deserve what we get. But I don’t believe this talk.
The one possible silver lining in all of this is that Olmert’s partial acquittal has put the prosecution in the dock. If its failure to convict Olmert finally empowers the Knesset to reign in our out of control prosecutors, then perhaps it can be said that there was a divine plan to all of this. But since I am in no position to understand God’s design, all I can say is that there are no heroes in this story. The bad guys won, and the bad guys lost.