I mentioned former Prime Minister Olmert’s conviction and some of the Israeli media’s responses in yesterday’s post. I shared this photo of the front page of “Yediot Ahronot” with my Hebrew readers last night, and I’ve decided that it’s just too outrageous for me not to share it here as well.
The basic facts: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was investigated while he was in office in eight different corruption cases. Attorney General Lador decided to prosecute, and Olmert, who was elected in 2006, stepped down from office in September 2008. He has spent the past four years in court and yesterday he was convicted of breach of trust, an offense punishable of up to three years in prison. He was cleared of all other charges in three of the cases for lack of evidence (there is still another case being tried in court).
Although he may spend up to three years in prison, the media, and especially the “Yediot Ahronot” newspaper and its website, Ynet, celebrated the conviction as if it was a huge victory. Many other media outlets took the same line. “Yediot Ahronot” is owned by a close friend of Olmert’s, and it made no pretense of trying to be impartial. This is the front page of Wednesday’s paper: