“A Tale of Two Jewish Leaders,” This is an excerpt of an article written by Bret Stephens and published in “The New York Times,” Jan. 24, 2023
“Volodymyr Zelensky made headlines again on Sunday by firing a deputy infrastructure minister suspected of bribery.
“I want this to be clear: There will be no return to what used to be in the past,” the Ukrainian president said, referring to his country’s richly deserved reputation for corruption. The minister is suspected of being part of a group that was taking bribes in exchange for equipment and machinery purchasing contracts. Zelensky followed up the next day by forbidding government officials from traveling abroad for nongovernmental purposes, presumably to hinder them from stashing any ill-gotten gains abroad but also to reassure international donors that they have an honest and reliable partner.
Also on Sunday, another world leader fired another corrupt official — but the story here is completely different.
Benjamin Netanyahu was ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court to remove a convicted tax fraud, Aryeh Deri, from serving in Mr. Netanyahu’s cabinet as both minister of health and minister of interior. The prime minister complied “with a heavy heart, great sorrow and a very difficult feeling,” as he put it in a letter to Deri that he read aloud in a cabinet meeting. Netanyahu will continue to press for ways to include Deri in the government. He could potentially give him the position of “alternate” prime minister.
What a contrast. Amid a desperate war of national survival, Zelensky is waging a campaign to kick the crooks out of government. And in a desperate bid to remain in office, Netanyahu is waging a campaign to keep the crooks in. […] Too bad for it that, today, the Jewish people’s greatest leader resides in Kyiv rather than Jerusalem.”