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Arabs: We Want Democracy - Like Israel

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"How many Arab leaders would be left if they went on trial of similar cases of bribery and corruption?" — Zuhear al-Karim, Arabic CNN.

"If Olmert were in Kuwait, his case would have been shelved and he would have received a senior position in government." — Yasalam, Al-Aan.

"Law is above all and this is real democracy. Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East." — Saad Sayad, Arabic CNN.

The Tel Aviv District Court's decision to send former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to six years in prison for corruption has prompted calls in the Arab world for endorsing Israel's standards of accountability, transparency and justice.

Reacting to the sentencing of Olmert, many Arabs expressed hope that the day would come when their countries would learn from Israel that no one is above the law, even if he or she is a president or prime minister.

Sufian Abu Zayda, a leading Fatah official and former Palestinian Authority minister, praised the court verdict; he said it shows that in Israel, no one is above the law.

"This verdict provides further evidence that the judicial system in Israel is fully independent in the wake of the separation between the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, as well as total freedom of the media," said Abu Zayda, who is considered an expert on Israeli affairs.[1]

The praise for Israel's democratic system does not mean that Abu Zayda and other Arabs have become pro-Israel and are willing to recognize Israel's right to exist.

But while they continue to hate Israel and seek its destruction, many Arabs do not hesitate to express their admiration for the independence of Israel's judicial system.

Comments posted by Arabs and Muslims on the Internet this week revealed how eager they are for their countries to endorse Israeli democracy. Similar reactions were also published when an Israeli court sentenced former Israeli President Moshe Katzav to seven years in prison for sex-related offenses.

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Following are some of the comments posted on Arab media and social websites in response to the Olmert verdict:

Source: Gatestone Institute

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