The Tel Aviv District Court’s decision to send former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to six years in prison for corruption has prompted calls in the Arab world for endorsing Israel’s standards of accountability, transparency and justice. Reacting to the sentencing of Olmert, many Arabs expressed hope that the day would come when their countries would learn from Israel that no one is above the law, even if he or she is a president or prime minister.
Sufian Abu Zayda, a leading Fatah official and former Palestinian Authority minister, praised the court verdict; he said it shows that in Israel, no one is above the law. “This verdict provides further evidence that the judicial system in Israel is fully independent in the wake of the separation between the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, as well as total freedom of the media,” said Abu Zayda, who is considered an expert on Israeli affairs.
The praise for Israel’s democratic system does not mean that Abu Zayda and other Arabs have become pro-Israel and are willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist. But while they continue to hate Israel and seek its destruction, many Arabs do not hesitate to express their admiration for the independence of Israel’s judicial system. [...]
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