Whist I consider the corruption case against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is a matter to be dealt with internally through the judicial system and therefore not a subject for debate in international blogs, one aspect of the case is of extreme interest. That is the reactions of the Arab bloggers from the countries around us.
It seems that Israel has earned a tremendous amount of respect throughout the Arab world, and many have called on their leaders to benefit from Israel's democratic system and independent judicial system. Thus reports Khaled Abu Tomeh in the Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1212041432454&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Words of praise for Israel are a rare phenomenon in the Arab media. But judging from the reactions of many Arabs to the corruption case in the past week, the trend appears to have changed. Even some Arabs who describe themselves as "sworn enemies of the Zionist entity" have begun singing praise for Israel.
"Show me one Arab or Islamic country where a prime minister or a senior government official was ever questioned for financial corruption or bribery," said a reader who identified himself only as Majed.
"The Israeli regime with all its defects is better than all the Arab 'democracies' and still changes ministers and governments every few years." said a reader named Sami
"Before we curse Israel, we must learn from the democratic and judicial system in Israel, where no one is above the law," wrote a Saudi national named Abdel Karim urged his Arab brethren to stop criticizing Israel and learn something about its democracy.
Khaled, another Saudi national, chimed in: "Although we are talking about Israel, which I have always hated very much, there is still no one above the law there."
Mahmoud al-Bakili of Yemen posted the following response on one of the Web sites: "We want this kind of accountability and transparency in the Arab and Islamic world."
An Arab who described himself as a Syrian Voice: "Despite my strong hatred for the Zionist regime, I have a lot of admiration and respect for this entity because there is no one above the law. In the Arab world, laws are broken every day and no one seems to care."
"There is corruption in Israel and the Arab world," wrote Abu Hadi from Iraq. "But the difference is that the Israelis hold their leaders accountable, while we the Arabs remain silent about corruption."
Jamal, who described himself as the Madman, wrote that "the reason why Israel has lasted for so long is because of its independent and fair judicial system. I challenge the Arabs to have such an independent judicial system."
Mohammed in Lebanon: "Can you imagine if there was an investigation against an Arab or Muslim leader? Do you know how much money they would discover?"
Abu Yusef in Egypt: "Unfortunately, this is the real democracy. Our enemies are very good in practicing democracy. In the Arab world, our leaders steal everything and no one ever dares to ask a question."
Rashid in Saudi Arabia: "Despite all our problems with the Jews, they are much better than us in fighting corruption and revealing the truth."
Israel Lover in Saudi Arabia: "Israel is a state that deserves to exist. It deserves our profound respect. I wish I were a citizen of this state."
Hani in Ramallah: "This is democracy at its best! Enough of dictatorship in the Arab world! Let's learn from the Israeli example. Let's benefit from Israel's democracy."
Rashid Bohairi in Kuwait: "I swear Israel is a state that will succeed. They are prosecuting their prime minister because of tens of thousands of dollars. What about the millions of dollars that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority stole? How come the Palestinian people are still hungry?"