As John Kerry forays further and further into Middle Eastern crisis -- looking to set things right in Syria and Palestine/ Israel, no less, and only in the capital of disputed territory, Jerusalem, this week -- we look at some of his potential partners in peace on the Israeli side of the field. Who are the newer and ‘fatter’ figures in the Israeli halls of power? Or are the political kingpins of the Jewish state still thick on the older guard of re-shuffled ‘war-criminals’ (Arab dictator style) from ancient battles?
Where is that female touch? Or are Israel’s female brigade busy lending the IDF’s front line the sex-factor?
Israel might set itself apart from its Arab neighbors in as many ways as you can skin a cat, but it plays no exception to brokering the marriage between money and power, wherein business and politics share a bed. Last week, the Hebrew edition of Forbes magazine exposed Israel’s richest politicians in an index to get the wealth vultures and voyeurs’ tongues’ vibrating.
Forbes’ ‘over-share’ of Israel’s political fat-cats came complete with controversy. Among the flashy short-listed guilty of glorifying themselves as champions of the middle class was Yair Lapid , who upon winning elections on his “middle class” platform, left a legacy of cutting child welfare benefits.
For a state boasting gender equality and democratic ideals in a sea of rising Islamism and un-stymied dictatorship, “Forbes Israel” list is acutely devoid of women and sometimes of merit. Still, two flush fellows featured did acquire their bounties with a little help from their ladies: The Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom and MK Meri Sheetrit of the Hatnua party, and a third thanks to his daddy ex-President: Isaac Herzog.
Perhaps when it comes to money, power, and women Israel has a more ‘Middle Eastern’ flavor than the world would prefer to think.
Will John Kerry be doing business with these Israeli tycoons and power houses? A run-down of Israel’s richest politicians according to Forbes.