Avigdor Lieberman isn’t like you or me. Most of us go about our lives trying to follow the rules and when we break them by say, speeding or jaywalking we take our punishment and accept it. Perhaps reluctantly, but we accept it. Not so Lieberman. The laws don’t apply to him. And when he is rudely reminded that they do he howls like a jackal caught in a steel trap.
He and close family members are under investigation for money-laundering connected to the business consulting firm he’s run for the past several years. While it is true that police investigations do tend to have political overtones and can be quite selective, that doesn’t mean that the politicians under investigation are pure as the driven snow either. Given the conviction of a sitting president, a sitting minister, and son of a former prime minister, along with the resignation of the current prime minister under a cloud, claiming that Israeli politicians like Lieberman are persecuted is giving them far too much credit.
Lieberman would have you believe that not only is he being persecuted, he’s being persecuted by Israeli police using tactics of the worst of Stalin’s secret police:
“There must be someone here preparing the big drama. The method used here is the same one used by the NKVD (secret police) during Stalin’s era. Then too, in the 1930s, trials were conducted in order to break people.
“If I were to say something, they would immediately say that I was obstructing the investigation proceedings. As far as I’m concerned, they can bite me…It’s clear to me that these are animals, not human beings.
Bite me. That seems a mature response. Maybe Liberman has been taking lessons from Dick Cheney who employed a similar quite succinct riposte with Sen. Leahy on the senate floor. The Lieberman approach, when questioned is to swing a bat and knock the other guy over the head. That approach seems to find favor with a significant minority of the Israeli voting public who gave him 15 seats in the new Knesset and practically guaranteed a rightist, bat-swinging ruling coalition.
You remember Lieberman’s Jewish Week column in which he affirmed Israel’s democracy? Well, it appears he only embraces democracy to a point, as long as it benefits him. When it doesn’t, then democracy in the form of the rule of law, is dumped overboard. After all, Libby is far too big a man to have something as petty as a law restrain him. He has far too important things to do to be worried about such niceties.
It’s a tad ironic that he compares Israel’s police to Stalin’s NKVD. There are more than a few people who believe that Stalin is a figure with which Lieberman has a great deal in common.