January 2004

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should have been celebrating this week the first anniversary of his re-election last January. Instead his mind was concentrated on the more pressing matter of his political survival, as the legal noose drew ever tighter around his neck over a series of corruption scandals. At the forefront is the case of a millionaire Israeli businessman, David Appel, who was charged last week with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Sharon’s family in the form of a bribe. According to the charges, he hoped to use Sharon’s influence to secure a huge real estate deal, in what has become known as the “Greek island affair”.