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Sunday , September 26 2021

Olmert’s plate & abused kids

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister with the highest executive authority has been accused of illegal home improvements at his Downing Street flat – the Prime Minister’s official residence — and who and how the works were paid for, the residence that he will leave when he no longer in the premier. It is said that his spending exceeded what is usually given to British prime ministers in terms of refurbishing their residences during their tenure.

His former chief aide accused him of following immoral behavior in his work, and if this is proven, he will be subjected to accusations with insults with the possibility of losing his position. There is a parliamentary committee whose powers are to examine donations and loans received by senior politicians and to issue penalties against them, including heavy fines with the right to refer any clear violation of the law to the Public Prosecutor.

The story of the British Prime Minister with his apartment wallpaper reminded me of the scandal that toppled the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, who was only two weeks younger than me.

Olmert took charge of the Israeli government by proxy, after Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke in 2006. During his tenure, he was involved in the 2006 war in Lebanon that tarnished his reputation, and he resigned from the premiership in 2009 after his popularity declined after the Gaza war in 2008.

In May 2014, an Israeli court sentenced Olmert to 6 years in prison and fined him one million shekels for accepting bribes in a housing project, but the prison sentence was reduced to a year and a half later.

Olmert entered prison in 2016, and I can still remember a picture of him sitting and eating his modest food in a cheap plastic plate, wearing worn out prison clothes.

A few days ago, the Palestinian journalist Rawa Morshed was beaten and verbally assaulted while on her journalistic assignment in the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Muslim Arab police, for not wearing the hijab. The policemen said “she does not belong to them,” “she has no right to speak,” “it is not an honor to discuss with her anything,” and “she must keep her mouth shut”.

I wondered what the Palestinians would do to each other if the Israelis leave Palestine. Will it become another Iran?

Therefore, sitting down and wishing the demise of Israel is one thing, and knowing how to run a modern state in which the rights of every human being are respected, the law applied to the old before the young, and the citizen’s dignity preserved is a completely different issue.

In developed countries, the authorities interfere in the lives of families and take their children from them, and hand them over to foster families if they are certain that they are not receiving the required care, or are mistreated. The interest of these abused children is more important than the right of their families to keep them.

I remembered this and asked myself, and in a terrible silence: Do some of our countries need a higher authority to take them away from their officials and place them under the care of other officials?

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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