It is strange that with
all the media tumult accompanying the Weizman affair, this question was not
Who profits from it? Who profits from it just now, at this exact point in
No doubt, the timing is
odd. The whole affair concerns financial dealings that happened long ago and
are covered by the statutes of limitation. Even the stolen files, on which
the allegations are based, were snatched years ago. But somebody sat on them
patiently for years until deciding, just now, to turn them over now to Mr.
Yoav Itzhak, who did not publish them as a news story, as a professional
journalist would, by instead called a press conference, like a political
party embarking on a campaign.
Why now? Why this way?
It happened immediately
after the President put all his weight behind a peace with Syria which would
entail the giving up the Golan. He declared that he would resign if the
majority would vote in the promised referendum against the peace treaty. The
next day the stolen file appeared from its hiding place. In order to hide
the traces, the blame was put on Ofer Nimrodi, the newspaper publisher
accused of several crimes. (These days, Nimrodi is good for everything.)
But nobody accuses Nimrodi
for revealing Barak's election organizations. Here the timing was fixed by
the State Comptroller. He discovered the facts, he drew the conclusions. The
Attorney General decided within five minutes to start a criminal
investigation against the Prime Minister and his men.
Quite by accident, all
this happens when the negotiations - both with the Syrians and the
Palestinians - approach the moment of truth. Ehud Barak has to make two
historical decisions: One to return all the Golan to Syria, and another to
agree to the setting up of a Palestinian state and a reasonably compromise
He would have to be a
superman to be able to concentrate on the most important decisions since the
creation of the State of Israel and at the same time to prepare for a
criminal investigation that may seal his fate. Lawyers will take the place
of the generals and statesmen in Barak's office, legal papers will replace
the maps and agreements on the table.
Around the world, news
about Barak appear nowadays beside the stories about Helmut Kohl and his
colleagues, who have accepted tens of millions of Marks as bribes from local
and foreign corporations. Before that, the name of President Weizman
appeared next to the name of President Yeltzin, who turned his job over to a
small war-monger in return for an amnesty to himself and all his family for
all their alleged economic crimes. It seems that the Kreml's first family
has received vast sums in return for allowing a small group of "tycoons" to
rob the legendary riches of Russia.
Of course, these
publications undermine the ability of the Israeli leadership to conduct
international negotiations. This is well understood by President Clinton,
who vividly remembers that the extreme right nearly succeeded in kicking him
out of the White House, after financing the revelations about his sex life.
This is also understood by the American Congress, who has to give the money
for peace, and by the Arab leaders, who are called upon to take great risks
for peace when they are not certain that their Israeli counterpart will not
land in prison tomorrow.
The Israeli right is
having a ball. They are quite content to sit back while assorted "leftists"
lead the crusade against Barak, Weizman and their assistants, all in the
name of morality, equality and the rule of law. For them, the only important
thing is to undermine the government which they accuse of "giving up parts
of the holy fatherland". Who needs another Yigal Amir, if Barak can be
destroyed by police investigators?
I don't believe in the
conspiracy theory of history, according to which history is made by devious
conspirators acting in the dark. Indeed, I belong to the opposite school,
the one that believes that stupidity and accident play a far more important
I do not want to
investigate the motives of all the people involved in these affairs. But the
fact is that all these assorted fools and wise men, file-thieves and
policemen, state comptrollers and state attorneys, journalists and
quasi-journalists, columnists and calumnists have succeeded, quite by
accident, in striking a mighty blow against the peace that could put an end
to the historic conflict and prevent the next wars.