Monday, June 28, 2004

(updated) Yesterday’s rant was a reaction to, among quite a few other things, the witch-hunt currently being conducted in the media against Meni Mazuz following his decision to close the corruption case against Arik Sharon. I am not innocent enough not to realize that Meni Mazuz could very well have been given the position of Attorney General specifically so he would close the case against Sharon. But some of the things being written completely ignore Mazuz’s main assertions in his decision and continue to chant exactly the same things that were being written beforehand (if I read about that damn leaked out of context conversation of Gilad Sharon’s one more time…). You get the feeling the writers didn’t even bother to read his decision, or if they did they did so extremely selectively.

Sever Plotzker, whom you know I usually admire, took the cake on Thursday (is that the correct expression?) when he suggested (in the print edition of Yediot Aharonot) that maybe the whole Greek island project didn’t really exist, that it was a fictional invention concocted for the sole reason of bribing Sharon in such a way that would evade detection. This idea is so absurd I’m surprised Plotzker, a top financial reporter, wasn’t embarrassed to write it, albeit in a thinly disguised fashion.

What was he saying? That David Appel employed architects, surveyors, archeologists, advertising companies, and who knows what else, for months, spending many millions of dollars, all so he could give Sharon a measly $650,000? Come on, couldn’t he just have put the whole 14 million in an account in the Cayman Islands for the Sharons and finished? I’m sure they would have been far more appreciative (and probably would have managed to come up with a creative way to launder it).

The funny thing is that if, as Plotzker claims, Appel concocted this elaborate bribing scheme just to get his building concessions near the town of Lod, well Sharon didn’t supply the merchandize, did he? Appel didn’t get the building concessions after all. No one did. It was turned down. Thus Plotzker was unwittingly strengthening Mazuz’s claim of lack of evidence of what he calls ‘hayesod hanafshi’ (I can’t think how to translate that, the only thing that comes up is the ‘mental element’, and that’s all wrong) - that Sharon understood that he was being bribed and for what purpose.

Amnon Dankner wrote some acerbic comments about this witch-hunt in Maariv, only in Hebrew though.

Update: Joe G. says: "You could say "criminal intent." If you really want to get fancy, it's "mens rea." However, my law dictionary includes "mental element" as an option, so you're on solid ground".

Ooh, 'mens rea'. Eldest and me know that from Legally Blonde. How exciting!