Analysis: Olmert as a warning to new Knesset members

New MKs on the Left can only look back at the Olmert era as a missed opportunity to reach an agreement with the Palestinians that was artificially cut short by corruption.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 30, 2015 12:42
2 minute read.
The Knesset

The Knesset . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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When the 39 new Knesset members arrive for their swearing-in ceremony Tuesday afternoon, they will see several symbolic reminders.

The menorah opposite the Knesset that they will see when they drive up to their new workplace is intended to remind them of the need to remain united, like its counterpart in the Holy Temple that was made from one undivided piece of gold.

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They will enter the parliament through the Holocaust themed gate designed by sculptor David Palombo, which will remind the new MKs of the dark days of the Jewish people and the importance of a Jewish state.

When they sit down in the plenum, they will watch the speaker standing before what purposely looks like the Western Wall to remember the prayers of generations for the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem.

But those who built the Knesset forgot to include an anti-corruption monument to remind representatives of the public to remain within the limits of their power.

For that, we can only thank former prime minister Ehud Olmert, the husband of an artist, for the six monstrous buildings in the Holyland complex.

It is impossible for the MKs to avoid seeing them on their way to the Knesset, from their new offices, and perhaps in their worst nightmares.



As the character of a celebrity once said when the satire show Eretz Nehederet asked why she lived in the Holyland complex, it is the only place in Jerusalem where you can’t see the Holyland complex.

That reminder should scare the MKs senseless. When they see lobbyists at the Knesset, they should run away. Even ordinary empty white envelopes should terrify them.

That is why the date of Olmert’s verdict in the Talansky case was so symbolic.

Sunday the new MKs came to Jerusalem to learn how to vote.

Tuesday they will be sworn-in.

In between, they received a powerful reminder of what can happen if they go wrong.

It is too easy to forget that when he entered the Knesset more than 40 years ago, Olmert was an anti-corruption crusader, who made life difficult for some veteran MKs.

The date of the verdict was also symbolic because it came less than two weeks after an election in which the Center-Left failed to regain the power it lost after the allegations in the Talansky case brought Olmert down.

New MKs on the Left can only look back at the Olmert era as a missed opportunity to reach an agreement with the Palestinians that was artificially cut short by corruption. Their counterparts on the Right can breathe a sigh of relief.

But neither the Right, nor the Left, nor the Center can remain indifferent.

Thanks to Olmert, they have been warned.

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