On 12 July 2006, the Iraeli cabinet was to vote on the invasion of Lebanon. Haim Ramon, Justice Minister and a close ally of Prime Minister Olmert, who played a pivotal role in the founding of Kadima as a breakaway from Likud was in his office minutes before the Cabinet started that day , and he was visited by a female soldier in his office. In August when allegations surfaced Ramon admitted forcibly kissing her , but not indecent assault. He claimed the kiss was the outcome of a flirtation initiated by her.
Ramon was found guilty in January and the court has now given him 120 hours of community service and fined 15,000 NIS (£1,800) for kissing a female soldier.
The conviction could have carried a sentence of three years and the prosecution had asked for a suspended jail sentence for Ramon
The court declined to qualify his crime as one of "moral depravity" or "moral turpitude", which would of course bar him from entry to the USand also from Parliament or teh Cabinet . His rapid return to the Cabinet is expected and there is speculation he will return to replace Finance Minister, Abraham Hirchson if he gives in to public pressure and resigns due to the police investigation of his financial dealings.
Dr. Dana Pugach, director of the Noga Center for Victims of Crime in the Kiryat Ono Academic College, slammed the court's ruling. "Attempting to save Ramon's career, the court invented a sexual offense without moral turpitude - something that doesn't exist - and conveyed the wrong message to the public by giving Ramon's acts a public and moral seal of approval," she said.
Olmert : Surrounded by a sea of corruption.
Dan Halutz Chief of Staff of the IDF had to resign because of the war and how it was conducted. Not to mentionthe fact that he had sufficient time on the eve of war to "defend hos country" to call his broker to liquidate his portfolio. Such a selfless guy.
Inspector-General Moshe Karadi the head of Israel Police, resigned because of revelations concerning his conduct in a previous position.
Shula Zaken, Olmert’s Bureau Chief / Personal Secretary of 30 years, was arrested on 1st february this year, and then she was released on bail for her alleged involvement in a tax-rigging scandal - there are also widespread rumours of her association with people like Arkadi Gaydamak (pic) owner of the Betyar Jerusalem soccer team.
Gaydamak (55) is a fascinating character, a Russian billionaire whose family have widespread interests. He finds that his foreign travel requires French and Israeli passports as well as Canadian diplomatic documentation. He usually travels in his role as a representative of the government of Angola - which helps to ensure he remains free from arrest. (The French wish to extradite him on charges of illegal arms trading with Angola, tax evasion and money laundering (The so called Angolgate case) . Alexandre Gaydamak, his son is the owner of Portsmouth Football (Soccer) Club in the UK, his partner in Portsmouth has moved on and on 13th February, Milan Mandarić (who is a Serb and one time friend of George Best) was unveiled as the owner of Leicester City FC. he has also had interest in Belgian club Standard Liege and the French team OGC Nice. (of no interest is the news that only last week former Italian champions Juventus and Standard Liege are being investigated over possible fraud in player transfers. Here for interesting news of Belgian club Beveren and Arsenal, transfers etc.,.
On February 20, 2007 Gaydamak announced he would found a party based solely on socio-economic issues called Social Justice running "in tandem" with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud. Whatever that means - but Netanyahu appeared at a mass Hanukkah party that Gaydamak organized this year. Unbeleivably he says he wants to extend his help to other sectors of the population - among Israeli Arabs, Bedouin, Druze and the ultra-Orthodox.
The foundation of this party is seen as a direct threat to the loathsome Arab baiting, ultra Zionist Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, whose support is almost entirely amongst the Russian Jewish diaspora.
Jackie Matza the head of the Tax Authority, who was a personal appointment of Olmert’s when he was previously Finance Minister - was arrested and forced to resign in the wake of the same affair. See this article in Ha'aretz "Rotten to the core"
Hanging over all this is the forthcoming trial of State President Moshe Katsav, for what some call sexual misconduct and others, rape.