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From Israeli prime minister to prisoner

The Israeli democratic system that was able to sentence former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to jail time might have lost its power to check the actions of today's serving prime minister.
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Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister from 2006 to 2009, has reported to jail, where he will become a run-of-the-mill prisoner. Olmert, 70, will spend 19 months behind bars, serving a sentence for corruption for his involvement in a bribery scandal that occurred while he was mayor of Jerusalem.

In the brief history of the Jewish state, nothing like this has ever happened before at the prime minister level. In 2011, Israel’s eighth president (2000-2007), Moshe Katsav, was sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated sexual assault, a sentence he is currently serving. Before that, former Finance Minister Avraham Hirschson was sent to prison in 2009 for white-collar crimes. But never before has an Israeli prime minister been sent to prison. In Israel, the prime minister is the equivalent of the American president. He is the leader; he is the captain, the Israeli version of the “commander-in-chief.” And now he is going to jail.

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