What Hillary Clinton Can Learn From Israeli Democracy
If the United States were as great a democracy as Israel, then Hillary Clinton would be living in jail — just like Israel’s ex-prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
Like Hillary, Prime Minister Olmert was a trained lawyer who used his political office for personal gain, barely evading conviction several times. But his evasions finally failed, and he just began serving two years for graft, bribery, and obstruction of justice.
One of Olmert’s crimes involved him taking envelopes stuffed with cash, a process that was tough to trace, but still easier than going through Hillary Clinton’s missing email messages or carefully concealed foundation fees.
As soon as the serious charges against Olmert became clear, no Israeli government agency colluded with Olmert to help delay prosecution. The same cannot be said for the way the US Department of State and the US Department of Justice have behaved.
Two things are clear: Olmert was a more talented speaker and politician than Hillary Clinton, and if Mrs. Clinton were in Israel, she would certainly be out of active politics and likely in jail. The same is true of ex-President Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton would have suffered the fate of Israel’s former president Moshe Katsav, who has already served three years in jail for doing what Bill did: forcing sexual relations on women who worked under him.
Clearly, the modern state of Israel is not a perfect society, but it is inspired by the biblical view that kings and queens should not use their position to get rich or make sexual conquests. When Israeli politicians go too far, they face real consequences.
The Bible warned against kings who want too much wealth, too many horses and too many women. Are you listening, Donald Trump? Check out Deuteronomy, Chapter 17. It’s h-u-g-e.
The Bible records that when Moses built the Tabernacle with gold, silver, and jewels contributed by the people of Israel, he then presented a complete accounting in an act of ancient transparency that should be the envy of Clinton, Trump, and Barack Obama.
The Book of Books also warned against abuse of power. Samuel the Prophet warned Israel about crowning a king who might enslave them, over-tax them, and lead them to unnecessary wars (I Samuel, Chapter 8).
As an antidote to executive abuse of power, the Bible ordered the king to write down his own copy of the bible and to keep it with him wherever he traveled.
That sounds a bit like the late US Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black, who never went anywhere without his copy of the US Constitution.
America’s founders called themselves The New Israel, and they considered using Israel’s crossing of the Sea or The Ten Commandments as America’s flag. This is one reason that America’s first universities had their valedictory addresses in Hebrew.
Modern America can draw inspiration from modern Israel — a vibrant democracy that defends itself successfully against Arab-Islamic terror but also polices its own politicians.
Dr. Michael Widlanski is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, and he was strategic affairs advisor in Israel ’s Ministry of Public Security.