Opposition demands Netanyahu quit as Right denounces Abbas as 'gang leader'
Netanyahu to Kerry: Palestinian Authority's wild incitement causing wave of terror
Dennis Ross: Susan Rice sees Israel 'more of a problem' than partner
Wave of violence sweeping Israel is 'terrorism,' US says
Low-calorie bread Catch-22
Out and About : Top 10 Things To Do
Oo la la!
Maccabi Tel Aviv out to avenge recent flops as BSL season tips off
Israel on brink of securing spot in Euro 2016 playoff
Oman cancels Israeli windsurfers' visas
Appreciation: The loss of a renaissance man
Israel Radio’s English News faces closure
Iron Dome battery deployed in Beersheba
Dozens of Palestinians cross into Israel from Gaza; 5 of them arrested
Israel to beef up Border Police presence in mixed Arab-Jewish towns
Liberman considered most capable of curbing Palestinian terrorism, poll finds
IDF shoots dead two Palestinian boys protesting near Gaza border fence
2 stabbing attacks outside Old City wounds 5, leaves 2 terrorists dead
NYC mayor de Blasio to visit Israel, Israeli businessman to foot bill
Edelstein: Romania strong ally in fight against anti-Semitism
Jewish MP in Iran decries ‘destruction of mosques in the Muslim World’
Hebrew education – in Harlem
Report: Russian Jewish leader endorses aid to Assad
Sources: US warns governments, bankers Iran sanctions still in place
Khamenei bans Iran from negotiations with US
Sources: US enforcement of Iran arms embargo slipped during nuclear talks
US measure for Iran victims to get paid before sanctions waived inspired by Shurat Hadin
ISIS vs. al-Qaida: Zawahiri says Baghdadi is not the leader of the Muslim world
'ISIS militants blow up ancient Arch of Triumph in Palmyra'
WATCH: Russian warplanes bomb ISIS targets in Syria
'Russia can't claim to fight ISIS terror, while supporting Assad's terror'
WATCH: Explosion at pro-Kurdish rally in Turkey caught on film
Ankara bombing kills at least 30 at Turkish peace rally
Two alleged Hezbollah associates face arms, money laundering charges in New York court
Barzilai gets medical administration degree recognition
How to cope with holiday’s excess calories and winter’s illnesses
Health scan: Israeli physicians slowly warming to medical marijuana
Still too soon to determine production potential of Golan Heights oil
Ness Ziona residents threaten to sue Rehovot for raw sewage flow
Burgeoning alternative fuel firms in Israel grow fivefold in less than three years
IN PICTURES: 1,500 eagles pass over Israel on migration route
Israeli parking app, coming to a university near you
Tech talk: Battle Hacks are back
Facebook pegs Israeli satellite to provide African Internet
Israel to host first international 'Under 30' Forbes Summit
Moody’s keeps Israel rating stable
United Airlines to launch non-stop Tel Aviv-San Francisco route
Grapevine: Mission Accomplished
This week in 60 seconds: Terror hits Israel
Grapevine: Labor of love
A faintly Jewish echo
Love, heartbreak, and a brooch – circa 1994
Jerusalem Post Editorial: PA spreadsheets
Status quo vadis?
Palestinians want hope, not just cycles of revenge
Letters to the Editor: Common denominator
Flight of the Black Tulip: The Russians in Syria
Who is a hero?
The diplomacy profession
Coexistence in a cone
2016 Budget: Not just numbers
The good doctor’s advice
Courage, rabbis, courage!
Fresh cooking tips from France
Meandering along the Rhine River, soaking up the rich Jewish heritage
Food does grow on trees
A treasure trove of historical posters
Is your dog Jewish?
Ironic Mother Earth
Neighborhood Watch: Regenerating Safed
Cancer Chronicles: Side effects
Feeling uneasy at the moment?
מִשִירֵי רָחֵל: זֶמֶר נוּגֶה
אֲנִי בְּחוֹפֶש, תִסְתַדְרוּ לְבַד
Living in a shoebox
Building health in Rwanda
‘The Sabbath is on Saturday not Sunday’
Born to dance
Bereshit: The Subatomic and Atomic
America wants out and let the chips fall where they may!
Computer Generated Spirituality
The Tower and the Sword
Do Not Fear - Do Laundry!
Inauguration of the Masonic Forest Square in Jerusalem
Free Schach Distribution in KKL-JNF Forests
Remembering the Victims of 9/11
600 Holocaust Survivors Enjoy Touring with KKL-JNF
greenXchange at EXPO Milano
First Tree after Shmita Year Planted by Bavarian Agriculture Minister
Prime Minister of Lithuania Plants Tree in Jerusalem
KKL-JNF International Expo Mission to Milan
An Ecological Festival at the Shafir Winter Pond
KKL-JNF Global Landscapes Seminar at Expo 2015
New Bio-filters Purify Surface Runoff Water for Reuse
Future Tour Guides Discover the Negev with KKL-JNF
Got Water Problems?
$100 Million JNF Boruchin Israel Education Advocacy Center Opens
JNF Canada Pays Tribute to the Honourable John Baird
From Sunny Israel to Cold Canada
Renewable Energies for the Future in the Arava
LDA Conference: Science and Technology for Forests
The Negev Conference on Agricultural Research and Development
Arava Open Day: Food Security for Israel and the Entire World
Melinda and Chelsea: The Inspiring Story of Aliyah Across the Ages
An Olah Reports From Nepal
How One Oleh is Helping to Transform the Way People Drink Water
From Think Tank to Environmental Consultant
Why People Love Volunteering in Israel
How Natalie Edwards Built a Successful Career in Israel’s Startup Industry
5 Tips to Land a Job in Israel
Starting Your Own Business in Israel: Real Life Examples
Where Are They Now? The Olim of the July 2014 Charter Flight
36 Hours in Southern Israel
Food Shopping In Israel
How Women Can Have it All in Israel
Why Retirees are Thriving in Israel
Thanks to Aliyah video
6 Frequently Asked Questions about Israeli Healthcare
Starting Over in Israel
Spotted on Social: Moshe Somers’ Activity List
Sam Eisenberg: From Nativ to Aliyah
WATCH: Why Olim #LiveLoveIsrael
5 Ways that Olim Kick Back
WATCH: Highlights of 221 Olim Landing on the July 2015 Charter Flight
“WATCH: Highlights of 232 Olim Landing on the August 2015 Charter Flight”
Make yourself at home… in Israel
10.10.2015 | 27 Tishri, 5776
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election
Not all bleak for Netanyahu
China’s moves: US decline, or balance in Asia?
Hanegbi heads to Myanmar for highest-level visit in 35 years
Former ambassador to the US Oren may enter politics on list Kahlon is drafting
MK calls on PM to destroy homes of Jews who murdered Arab teen
Netanyahu: Hamas leaders are legitimate targets, no one is invincible
Kahlon indicates comeback with new ‘framework’
'Israel no better than Chelm for providing electricity to Palestinian companies that boycott it'
Manhattan borough president shows solidarity with Israel visit
Ministers and MKs urge Netanyahu to pound Hamas
Right-wing MKs call to investigate Balad party, ban it from Knesset after Qatar trip
Diplomacy & Politics
YONAH JEREMY BOB \
Bat Yam Mayor Lahiani.
(photo credit:YONAH JEREMY BOB)
Sometimes the world can change radically, practically turning upside down, in only a few moments.Only such a radical change could explain Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani’s sudden, shocking decision on Thursday to willingly cut a plea bargain with the state that will almost certainly end his political career and may land him in jail for a year.What was the change? In July 2012, former prime minister Ehud Olmert was mostly acquitted in his Jerusalem corruption trial and commentators spoke of an “Olmert effect” in which many public officials became more brazen and confident that they could beat the prosecution’s public corruption charges in court.A notable result was Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein’s explicit mentioning of having considered the “impact” of the Olmert ruling when he decided in December 2012 to close a decade-long investigation against Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman for millions of dollars in alleged money-laundering.In place of that juggernaut of a case and despite a decade of investigations, Weinstein moved from having favored an indictment in 2011 to closing the case without firing a shot a few months after Olmert’s acquittal.In place of that “big case” against Liberman, a much smaller indictment was filed.With Liberman’s acquittal in that case in November 2013, commentators talked of the prosecution’s deterrent powers being eroded to an alltime low.All of that changed in one moment when Olmert, former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski, former Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner and seven other prominent figures were all convicted of bribery on March 23 in the Holyland real-estate corruption trial.The bruised and broken prosecution got back its swagger and then some.The conversation shifted from whether the state could get big convictions anymore to whether Olmert and company would serve 1-2 years of prison time on average or as many as 6-8 years.Suddenly the “Olmert effect” represents not the state’s weakness, but its intimidatingly strong record in bringing down the highest officials, including getting them jail time.Back to Lahiani. Lahiani has been fighting bribery and corruption charges for years now and has proclaimed he would fight to the end over and over again.The impression was he not only believed he could get off on the charges, but that he was so confident, that he was more concerned about ensuring the case did not affect his soaring political ascent as one of the country’s most popular mayors than he was about the case itself.If Lahiani was planning all along to cut a plea bargain, which very likely will make him ineligible for public office for seven years and may send him to jail for 12 months, why not save himself tons of legal fees and negative media attention by cutting the deal months or years ago.Why cut a deal at such a late date, but within the trial itself, nearly right after it started? The answer appears to be clear.He had been ready to fight until the end. Then the world changed.The Olmert effect was redefined and he started to think that his biggest concern should not be staying in politics, but staying out of jail.The deal with the state drops the bribery charges that Olmert and company were convicted of.Whereas Olmert’s worst-case scenario could include six years in prison, Lahiani’s worst case will now be one year.His political career is likely over, but even if you’re an ex-politician there are many better things to do with your time than spend it in jail.There are three other mayors under the gun on corruption charges. If more of them start to fall and cut deals, then the Olmert effect will truly have empowered the state with an unprecedented level of deterrent power.
Your comment must be approved by a moderator before being published on JPost.com.
Disqus users can post comments automatically.
Comments must adhere to our Talkback policy. If you believe that a comment has breached the Talkback policy, please press the flag icon to bring it to the attention of our moderation team.
Sign up for our newsletter
Please insert a valid email address
By signing up to The Jpost mailing list, I hereby