Foreign billionaires prop up Israeli “democracy” and buy cheap honor at the same time

Uri Avnery has written a nice article about the foreign Jewish billionaires who influence Israeli politics by donating large amounts of money to Israeli politicians such as Prime Minister Olmert and the scandal he is going through right now exactly because of such donations.  Avnery writes:

That’s where the corruption set in. A person who donates millions to a politician in Israel (or, for that matter, the US, or Italy or any other place on the globe) knows full well that he will get it back with interest. When the politician becomes a minister, or Prime Minister, or President, the supporter has hit the jackpot.

In politics there is no innocent donation. One way or another, the donor will reap his reward – many times over. That’s true in the US, that’s true in Italy, that’s true in Israel, too. If the donor declares to the police that he has no business interests in Israel, all it means is that they must dig deeper.

The Olmert affair confirms anew what we have known for a long time: the fuel Israeli politics runs on is not just money, but money from abroad. To win primaries and campaign in elections, a candidate needs millions, and these almost always come from foreign donors.

Foreign billionaires financed Olmert in the party primaries, and they financed him in the general elections, in which he was assured of becoming Prime Minister. After being elected, he started Lebanon War II, with all its death and destruction. It can be said: American Jewish billionaires killed the soldiers and civilians, Israeli and Lebanese, who lost their lives in the war.

Another benefit of pouring cash into Israeli politics is explained by Avnery as follows:

But it is not Olmert who interests me in this affair so much as Talansky.

He belongs to a species of “Israel-loving” billionaires, most of them resident in the US, but also in Canada and Switzerland, Austria and Australia and other places.

They are all Israeli patriots. They are all philanthropists. All contribute millions to Israeli politicians. And almost all of them support our extreme Right.

What makes them run? What induces these billionaires to do what they are doing?

A research in depth discovers that a great many of them made their money in dark corners. Some are gambling barons, casino-owners with all the inevitable connections with violence, crime and exploitation. One at least made his fortunes from brothels. Another was involved in a scandal involving old people’s homes. Yet another is a scion of a family who made their money bootlegging during prohibition days. Some are arms merchants of the most despicable kind, selling weapons to the political gangs which sow death and destruction in Africa.

But money, as is well known, does not smell.

Most of the multi-millionaires of this kind feel that they are not receiving the honor due to them. Their co-billionaires, high society people, treat them with disdain. A person reaching this position is not satisfied with money alone. He craves honor. Such honor can be bought in Israel, on the cheap.

Israel is selling honor of all kinds, no questions asked. For a suitable donation, even a gambling-hell owner will be received by the Prime Minister, dine with the President, put his name on a university building.

Avnery ends his article with the following:

Perhaps in other countries, too, politicians receive donations from foreign sources. But it is generally a marginal phenomenon. Here it is a major factor.

That is one of the ill effects of the definition of Israel as a “Jewish State”. Because of this, these donors do not look like what they are – impertinent foreigners who interfere in our lives and corrupt our state – but like “warmhearted Jews” who support a state that belongs to them as well.

Gideon Levy has recently written an article in which he begged them to “leave us alone”. Being a less refined person than he, I shall say this in a ruder way: Go home and take your money with you. We are not for sale. Stop trying to manage our life (and death)!



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