Two Peas In A Pod: Ben & Don

Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a few things in common.  Both are quite wealthy, though neither is in the top 30 wealthiest people in their nation.  Donald Trump is 259th in the U.S., according to Forbes.  They both seem to be attracted to more autocratic leaders, and they have been friends with each other for many years.  They both had an immense dislike of President Barack Obama.  They are both bigots, both despise Iran and want to end or severely limit immigration in their respective countries.  Both have a mainly right-wing following. They also have one other thing in common:  they are both under investigation by their own government.  Mr. Netanyahu is about to be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, whereas Mr. Trump is under investigation for a number of as-yet unspecified charges likely to include corruption, bribery, influencing an election, and obstruction of justice.

Yesterday, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his plans to indict Netanyahu.  Conversely, it is highly unlikely that Trump will be indicted any time soon. While there is absolutely nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits indicting a sitting president, past justice department guidance has held that a sitting president may not be indicted for a crime, and that precedent is likely to either continue or set off legal battles that will last long past the end of Trump’s reign of terror.

Netanyahu is just 40 days from the election that will decide if he sees a 4th consecutive term as Prime Minister.  The charges against him stem in part from trading lucrative official favors for gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars including cigars, Champagne and jewelry, and for flattering news coverage whose value was incalculable.

The news coverage of the investigation into Netanyahu’s corruption and abuse of power have had little effect on his approval ratings, just as the mounting evidence of Trump’s alleged crimes have had little effect on his own approval ratings.  I don’t understand this, for always in the past, a president or Prime Minister was expected to behave in the most circumspect of manners, and if they failed to do so, they were held accountable.  Did it suddenly become ‘okay’ to be a crook, an abuser of women, a liar and a cheat?  I guess I didn’t get that memo.

I’m not sure which of the two coined the phrase first, but just as Trump calls the Robert Mueller investigation a “witch hunt”, so has Netanyahu referred to the investigation into his affairs as a “witch hunt”.  One of them is a copycat.  As Netanyahu’s indictment began to look more and more like a certainty, as the evidence began to pile up, he became more strident and divisive, even alienating some of his own supporters.  Sound familiar?

There’s another Trump/Netanyahu connection.  In one of the charges, Netanyahu stands accused of discussing with the publisher of Yediot Ahronot, one of Israel’s biggest newspapers, the possibility of a deal for favorable coverage: He would press a competing newspaper, Israel Hayom, to curtail its free circulation, and in return Yediot Ahronot would treat Mr. Netanyahu kindlier. Israel Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, the American billionaire casino owner who is a devoted supporter of Mr. Netanyahu’s. Mr. Adelson was also a mega-donor to the Trump campaign in 2016, and as a reward, his wife Miriam was awarded (without qualifications or justification) the Presidential Medal of Freedom last November.  Wow … these rich dudes are thicker than thieves, aren’t they?  Oh wait … they are thieves!

Sheldon-Miriam-Adelson.jpg

Sheldon & Miriam Adelson  (I guess she could afford the facelifts, huh?)

In another of the charges, Netanyahu is accused of pushing regulatory actions through the Communications Ministry, which he controlled at the time, that were enormously lucrative to Shaul Elovitch, the principal owner of the Bezeq telecommunications giant. In return, Mr. Elovitch arranged for fawning coverage of Mr. Netanyahu and his family in Walla News, a popular website owned by Bezeq.  Trump has Fox News, Netanyahu has Walla News.

If the indictment is handed down, as AG Mandelblit intends, it will be the first time a sitting prime minister has been indicted in Israel, just as it would be the first time a sitting president was indicted in the U.S. if Attorney General Barr were to suddenly find the cojones to do so.  The point in all of this?  Both men are already independently wealthy, yet it wasn’t enough.  They broke laws, abused the power of their office, and breached the trust of the very people who put them in office.  In addition, each have the distinction of having made the world a little less safe and a lot less sane.  Thanks guys.

25 thoughts on “Two Peas In A Pod: Ben & Don

  1. We have at the helm of our country a man who has openly praised the likes of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Rodrigo Duterte, Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mohammed bin Salman for their methods and seemingly their madness…this alone says much about the man’s character. Benjamin Netanyahu the long serving Prime Minister appears as a crook in the same league as Trump the would-be dictator. One of their differences is that Netanyahu is being brought to justice by Israel, as should be happening here to Trump. We wait for that day of reckoning. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right. And, while he is praising those autocrats, he is criticizing our allies, like Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, et al. I’m not sure we will ever get the satisfaction of seeing him indicted, for he has placed sycophants in every nook and cranny who will go the extra mile to protect him. Sigh.

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  2. ‘I don’t understand this, for always in the past, a president or Prime Minister was expected to behave in the most circumspect of manners, and if they failed to do so, they were held accountable. Did it suddenly become ‘okay’ to be a crook, an abuser of women, a liar and a cheat? I guess I didn’t get that memo’. What does it say about the human race? I despair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is much the same here. But, I don’t blame the media as much as their audience, for they only cover what people most want, being that they are ‘for profit’ and their advertisers won’t support them if they lose their readership/viewership. It seems that the average person would rather hear about Cortez forgetting to tip, or what AOC wore when she was in college. You have to really dig to get through the fluff some days.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t understand this, for always in the past, a president or Prime Minister was expected to behave in the most circumspect of manners, and if they failed to do so, they were held accountable. Did it suddenly become ‘okay’ to be a crook, an abuser of women, a liar and a cheat? I guess I didn’t get that memo.

    “The Rise of Tribalism” is the title of the memo, Jill. Winning at all costs – or, more precisely, the perception of winning at all costs – has trumped (pun intended) civil discourse, common decency, morality and ethics. It’s what happens naturally when society becomes too stressed and starts to break down. Just the other day, another driver nearly ran me over while I was walking legally in a crosswalk. “Get outta my way!” the driver screamed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ah yes … tribalism. I’ve come to absolutely despise that word! That and ‘nationalism’. Sigh. I’ve noticed the same as you … people overall are less patient, more rude of late. And me? Am I also getting less patient, less tolerant? I think maybe so, and I must work to combat that. We’re going to end up with bloodshed in the streets before it’s over … I feel it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I feel by blogging we all come to a better understanding of other POVs, but we don’t necessarily have to like it! It’s all a process, as the left and right halves of humanity have to come together and be whole again… hopefully in our lifetime.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    A ‘must read’ … they indeed are quite similar!! … ‘Both men are already independently wealthy, yet it wasn’t enough. They broke laws, abused the power of their office, and breached the trust of the very people who put them in office. In addition, each have the distinction of having made the world a little less safe and a lot less sane. ‘

    Liked by 2 people

    • No link, Scott. Needs a redo. But Justin definitely seems to have overstepped his bounds, and fired Canada’s Attorney-General for not joining the Old Boys’ Club. That’s what happens when you put a person of personal ethics in charge of a corruptible portfolio. Ms Wilson-Raybold did not play the game, and now Trudeau is going to lose his honour, and his election, because he wanted to be re-elected. Pure politician, just like his daddy.
      Jill, I am sorry to say it looks like Justin put his foot in it up to this naked neck, and he will be hanged. The People, of course, will just go back to the Scheer Conservative’s, they only know two parties in a multi-party system. How quickly they forget that the other party was just as corrupt as the present ruling party. Canadians never seem to learn.
      The only way to circumvent this outcome is for the Liberals to elect Wilson-Raybold as their leader. She has proved to have honour worthy of a sitting Prime Minister.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well, Scott, if you look at the beginning of the post, where I was comparing Trump & Netanyahu, showing how similar they are in many ways, you’ll see that Trudeau really doesn’t fit that mold. He and Obama were friends and respected each other, Trudeau does not at all gravitate toward autocratic leaders, and by the standards of the other two, Trudeau is nearly a pauper. (By mine and yours standards, he is rich, however, with a net worth of ~ $10 mil).

      And no, I don’t think that democrats can do no wrong, BUT … overall, the democratic ideology leans more toward helping people than helping corporations and the already-wealthy amass even more money. Now smile, my friend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Democratic ideology of old… now being revived by Progressives like AOC, Bernie Sanders have their hearts set on helping the ppl. Sadly the neo-liberal pro-establishment elite class of Democrats these days resemble the greed and corruption of the moderate Repubs from days past. Of course Trumpian Repugs are simply off the charts corrupt and want to rule the world by destroying it, they should not be lumped with conservatives. Have you noticed the trending Socialist Democrat candidates on the rise, not so much the old guard like Hillary or Biden. I’m happy to see the party moving in the right direction.

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  5. Jill, the words of defense are similar – the liberal left and media are out to get me
    – it is all fake news
    – it is a witchhunt

    Richard Nixon said the same things even as over twenty of the “President’s Men” went to jail. He was guilty, too. Nixon also famously said “I am not a crook.” He was wrong. So, are Trump and Netanyahu. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • No doubt. And now I have to wonder about the one politician I really thought was A-ok, Justin Trudeau. Sigh. I think you and I are just going to have to run for president. We both meet the criteria of age and citizenship. We’d make one heck of a team!

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  6. The rich always want more. Whether it be the fawning adulation Trump gets from his base, the favours he gets from what he does for Fox or the money he gets for having Foreign dignitaries stay in Trump Towers when he’s supposed to be away from business. Whatever it is will never be enough. Netanyahu just proves the point. And Putin, how did he get his money and how does he make more?
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • ‘Tis true that the wealthy never seem to have enough. My question, though, is WHY??? What joy is there in looking at your investment portfolio every day and seeing 7 or 10 digits, seeing that you have a few hundred or thousand more than yesterday that you did nothing to earn? And I wonder, if a person who starts out poor, suddenly becomes rich, does he soon become greedy also? You mention Putin … by some estimates, he is actually considered the richest man in the world and his wealth is estimated at … wait for it … $200 BILLION. Now … how much good could be done with all that money? Sigh. One thing gives me a bit of mirth, though, and that is that Trump must be so humiliated, for compared to Putin, Trump is a pauper 😀
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

      • Trump is a poor facsimile, a Putin wannabe who desires unlimited power. Sadly he lacks the intelligence, charisma or focus of the Russian President. Putin is the King of all mafia dons, his net worth is actually “unofficially” estimated at half a trillion! Putin’s in bed with the richest oligarchs and they all pay tribute to him with their loyalty and devotion. Nothing gets done unless it goes thru the Kremlin. I’m seeing an envious Trump trying to emulate the insane success of Russia by transforming Washington along with the Rebulican party into an oligarchy led by him. Thankfully there are checks and balances in the US, led by the ppl of our republic to oppose unbridled tyranny. We may come out alive by 2020 if all goes well.

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