Born in Moldova in the former Soviet Union, Mr. Lieberman also commands the loyalty of many of the one million Israelis who immigrated here from the former Soviet Union and tend toward rightist nationalist politics.Mr. Lieberman…is highly pessimistic about democracy’s evolving in the Arab world…
If Avigdor Lieberman is indicted and forced to leave the government and possibly Israeli politics, he is threatening to take Israeli democracy out of the Middle East where it isn’t appreciated anyway. Unlike Herzl who suggested Uganda, Lieberman can think of no better place for Israeli democracy to take root than his native Moldova, where there’s reputed (at least by Lieberman) to be a shortage of bouncers and corrupt politicians. Vladimir Putin has even promised to make the Prodigal Son and alleged Russian spy most cozy if he returns to his Slavic roots.
In fact, I can just imagine the Exodus of those 1-million former Soviet Jews out of Israel and back to the Promised Land of Moldova led, of course, by that Slavic Moses, Lieberman himself.
Seriously, I can’t think of a more welcome development than Lieberman being indicted. The only better news would be Lieberman convicted.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that if this brings new elections that it will mean anything different for Israel. If it wasn’t Lieberman mouthing far-right proto-fascist rants it would be someone else. Israeli politics will not be changed or made better by Lieberman’s passing from the scene.
Israeli politicians are corrupt. Some are more corrupt than others. A few even are not corrupt at all. But that’s usually because they have no ministry or patronage machine with which to dispense government largesse. Most of Israel’s most powerful political leaders have been suspected, charged or convicted of financial or moral corruption including Sharon, Olmert, Katsav, Ramon, Weitzman, and now Lieberman. The latter is nothing special or unusual. He’s rather true to form.
This article appeared at Tikun Olam