Monday, February 15, 2010

Daring to Criticize

This pathetic "story" broke last Friday, but its amazing what repercussions have followed.

Deputy Jerusalem District Prosecutor Uri Corb teaches in the "Sha'arei Mishpat" law school in Israel. Last semester he taught a course on Israel's legal system and the judiciary.

The big "story" is that close to 3 months ago, in one of his lectures, he said that, "Some of the Judges [in Israel] are donkeys".

Then, this past Friday, close to 3 months since Corb made the "damning" statement, the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published transcripts of the statements, as headline news.

Question One: Why was this "sensationalist" story "sat on" for close to 3 months before it was publicized?

Question Two: Who stood to gain from this story being published in the first place?

Let's dig a bit deeper. Who was Corb prosecuting?

Haaretz adds some detail:
The hearing of testimonies in [ex-prime minister and on trial for major corruption and fraud] Ehud Olmert's trial on the Talansky, Rishon Tours and the Investment Center affairs, are scheduled to begin next Monday. Corb had been assigned to conduct the trial in court, and is the one who knows the prosecution's case best.
Knowing full well how Israel completely and utterly prostates itself before the Judiciary, this was bound the generate the usual "don't you dare criticize Israel's judiciary" (with Nahum Barnea even comparing Corb's statement, to that of someone who threw their shoe at Chief Israeli Justice, Dorit Beinish.)

Yet the results have been far more sinister.

1. Corb has been forced to "take a leave of absence" for daring to criticize Israel's judiciary.
In a statement issued by the ministry, Corb said that "following the many reports in recent days, including many distortions targeting me, I am asking at this stage to take a short leave. I have already expressed to you [referring to Jerusalem Chief District Attorney Moshe Lador] and the media great sorrow at the damage I have caused by making use of a style that was out of place. I intend to find a way to clarify things in the coming days, and will do my best to correct the bad impression." (Haaretz)
2. There are calls for Corb to be fired.
While on leave, Corb's case will be examined by the disciplinary department at the Civil Service Commission. If he is found to have committed serious violations, a complaint will be filed against him at the commission's disciplinary court. At the end of such a process, the court may opt to sanction Corb - which could range anywhere from a reprimand to dismissal. (Haaretz)
3. And for the kicker...Olmert who has been desperately trying to get a delay for his trial, and his defense counsel's previous requests were already rejected by the court...has "magically" managed to get the State Prosecutor to request a 3 month delay for Olmert's trial!
The State Prosecutor's Office has requested a three-month delay in hearing evidence in the corruption trial of former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Monday, following Sunday's meeting between State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and Deputy Jerusalem District Prosecutor Uri Corb. (Haaretz)
Olmert's legal team are probably slapping themselves on the back over this perfectly executed "leak"...

Here's another example of preventing someone from expressing his views, by screaming and interrupting over and over again.

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Neshama said...

What happened to Oren at Irvine was gross, but a civilized challenge met him at Stanford's Price Center (He spoke in San Diego too): Ambassador Oren Captivates Audience
Students: “Michael Oren is a silver fox and a sexy beast.”
He is definitely a talented speaker in reality mode.

realRightWinger said...

Thank you Jameel for posting this important story. It is critical that the world sees what a bannana republic we are. When I read this story in the hebrew press - I was shocked an horrified - big deal - the guy called the judges a bunch of asses, and pointed out that some judges come unprepared to the cases. Why did he say this ? Because he was teaching his students how to prepare witnesses - given the poor reality of Israeli judiciary. I have heard many radio commentators over the past few days including ex judges and other lawyers - how the media has totally over blown this case.
Personally, I think the media and the DA should investigate on how this content was leaked out of the University and how it was only released to the press at the most suitable time for Olmert - i.e. I am sure someone paid this guy to release the information at this time - for Olmerts benefit.
What a poor situation we have in Israel ...

Anonymous said...

I've been told by someone at the college that his statements weren't made all in one lecture but over a few lectures & the statements were strung together in order to make it seem that it's worse than it is. Can everyone in the country be criticised except for the judiciary? A man was arrested for telling Beinish that he hoped she'd be killed before him if she allowed the 443 road opened to Palestinians! Perhaps if the judges were really impartial people wouldn't feel like this. How come these judges allow teenage girls to be imprisoned for months on end without contact with their families(during the pull out from Gush Katif) yet pedophile,s murderers get bail probation etc?
obviously there is something very wrong here with the judges & not neccesarily the system.

ADDeRabbi said...

Matti Golan connected the dots, too:

He adds another element - that the ostensibly 'objective' new AG Weinstein is Olmert's former attorney.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

ADDeRabbi: Yup...perhaps I should have called the posting, "The Olmert Coincidence"

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