Greenbaum and Hillel scandals
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The Greenbaum and Hillel scandals refer to a pair of bipartisan political scandals in less than a decade between the late 1990s and the early 2000s that came to define that period of politics in Yisrael. Royalist Conservative President Adom Greenbaum (1996-1997) and Constitutional Liberal President Naor Hillel (2000-2002) both were caught separately by independent government watchdogs engaging in pay-to-play corruption, violations of campaign finance, and allegations of bribery and illegal government nepotism. Both were indicted, convicted, and served jail sentences.
Yisraeli political historians characterize the stunning back-to-back examples of presidential malfeasance as endemic of the factionalism and clannishness in Yisraeli society and especially among elites. While voters were anticipated to become apathetic and disillusioned with government in general, political watchers were amazed to see high voter turnout rates and hyper-competitive elections in the years during and after the Greenbaum-Hillel corruption scandals.
Former President Yanky Fishbein, Greenbaum's vice-president and successor of the rest of his term (1997-2000), is referred to obliquely in common parlance by the Hebrew phrase (in Anglic): "the honest one in between the two wicked ones," which has become a cultural cliché when referring to the late '90s and early '00s.