The wisdom of the masses on political immunity and the measles
The social media era makes the likes and shares of the masses more valid than that of 100 doctors; now, rightist leaders are telling us the public determined Netanyahu is innocent in the polls, and the hell with Mandelblit and his experts
What does the measles outbreak have in common with the cult that encourages drinking bleach? And what does it have in common with Netanyahu's immunity law initiative? The answer is the wisdom of the masses, one of maladies of our social media day and age.
The idea of the wisdom of the masses is that no single individuals holds greater knowledge than a million ordinary people. Not even if that individual is a doctor who studied medicine for seven years and did an internship and residency for six to nine more. If one million people like or share a post about how measles vaccines are dangerous and should be avoided, their opinion counts more that that of 100 doctors who think otherwise. The masses know.
The results for this kind of behavior are evident around the world nowadays with the measles outbreak. Not to mention the "trend" —a hideous word in itself — of parents who give their children a mix of bleach and water to drink, only god knows why.
But how does this relate to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's immunity law initiative, aimed to deny any option of charging him with crimes while he serves as prime minister?
It's simple. An army of lawyers, headed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, went through mountains of papers, discussions and testimonies, and concluded that there is supporting evidence to indict Netanyahu for serious offences of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, subject to a hearing.
But now, after some 1,140,000 people voted for Netanyahu's Likud Party, and an equal number voted for his "natural partners", rightist leaders come forth and say that "the people have decided Netanyahu is innocent." "There is nothing, because there was nothing, and there will be nothing. Simply nothing", stated the prime ministers famous quote about the accusation against him.
And so, if people have determined that Netanyahu is innocent, there's no problem for his future coalition members to approve legislation granting him immunity from indictment. This would also be of use for other Knesset members who are facing prosecution, subject to a hearing. These are Interior Minister Arye Deri, Welfare Minister Haim Katz, and perhaps MK David Bitan, who stated that if Deri, who was already a convicted felon, can be minister, so can he, and he has a point.
Many Likud supporters believe Netanyahu is innocent, according to their vote at the polls. Others believe he is corrupt, but simply don't give a damn. If he knows how to take care of himself, he'll know how to take care of us, they say. That has nothing to do with the wisdom of the masses, but rather with the lack of moral values.
Most Israelis didn't go to law school and have never read white collar offences, judicial verdicts or transcripts of investigations. Nor did they read the papers describing the suspicions against Netanyahu. The materials are anyway undisclosed to us, despite Mandelblit's declaration to reveal them after the April 9 elections. But what does it even matter? The masses have decided, as they did with measles vaccines. This is the wisdom of the masses for you.