14 Av 5777
6 August 2017
The News on the Israeli Street
Palestinian terror yesterday (Saturday) . . .
*Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the community of Beit El hitting the security fence but no homes. No Israelis were wounded.
*Palestinian terrorists targeted an Israeli family driving north of Ofra with three Molotov firebombs. The family was treated for trauma.
*Palestinian arsonists are suspected of starting a fire near Gilo in the southern part of Jerusalem.
*An armed Palestinian infiltrator from Gaza was captured near the Gaza border fence.
*An IDF soldier was wounded in the face by Palestinian terrorists in Tekoa.
The continuing collusion of Israeli police with the PLO . . .
It is bad enough that the Israeli police collude with the Islamic Wakf on the Temple Mount each day, but now comes unbelievable reports that such collusion is taking place elsewhere.
In one of the most bizarre instances revealed yesterday, Israeli police worked with PLO police to interrogate Yusuf Za’tari who sold what are called “Rachel’s House” and “Leah’s House” in Hevron to the Jewish Rahavi Association. Despite the fact that the sale was video recorded to prove to Israeli authorities that no forgery of documents was involved, the Police still insisted on questioning Za’tari.
Nevertheless, Israeli police were determined to question Za’atari, and did so after he was captured by the PLO police.
Such a sale and capture usually results in a summary execution by PLO police.
Obviously, in the subsequent interrogation, Za’atari claimed that he never sold the properties to Rahavi.
All of this led Knesset legislator Nurit Cohen to question yesterday:
“How is it possible that the Israeli investigating authorities cooperated with the PLO in interrogating a detainee whose only crime is the sale of land to Jews?”
“How is it even conceivable that the Police could give any weight to testimony given by a man who was interrogated in the presence of the PLO? Did the Police really think he would admit to selling the properties?
“At the conclusion of the interrogation, why did the Police let the PLO continue to hold Za’tari in custody when they knew he would be given a death sentence?”
In response yesterday, the Police actually said this:
“At no stage was Za’tari transferred to the Israel Police Force, and his interrogation was carried out while he was in the custody of the PLO.”
Say what? What in the world did the Police expect Za’atari to say?
The degree of collusion between the Police and the PLO is simply incredible.
Cases 1000, 2000, and 3000 Against Netanyahu
How long have the witchhunts against Netanyahu been going on?
All the way back to 1993—twenty four years ago.
We’ve had Bibi-Gate (1993), Bibi-State Gifts Gate (1999), and Bibi-Tours Gate (2009). In all of these it is totally unimportant to remember what they were about because nothing ever came of any of them and Netanyahu was never indicted.
But just think about had badly the Police looked after each one, and how bitterly disappointed the Israeli “left” was with each successive exoneration.
Beginning a few years ago, the Police and the Left pooled their resources and began an all-out campaign to bring Netanyahu down. Thus it is that three investigations have been opened against the Prime Minister, and this time the talk on the street is that Netanyahu might finally be ousted from office.
That talk has intensified in the last few days with the news that Ari Harow, Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff from 2008-2010 and again from 2014 to 2015, is willing to turn state’s evidence against the Prime Minister. Harow is alleged to have parlayed his connections with Netanyahu to further his own interests in what is characterized as a “breach of trust.” Yet Harow has yet to be formally charged with anything.
Let’s take a look at each of the three cases.
Case 1000: This is the accusation that Netanyahu and his wife received such items as cigars and champagne from various wealthy benefactors, most notably Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
There is no doubt that Milchan provided gifts to the Netanyahus. The question seems to be “did Milchan gain anything for the gifts he provided?”
There seems to be extremely scant evidence that he did. It is reported that Netanyahu intervened on behalf of Milchan with US Secretary of State John Kerry three times with respect to a 10-year residency permit Milchan had lost, but the problem for police is that the Prime Minister’s Office intervenes on behalf of many people who have problems and who do not give Netanyahu a penny.
Case 2000: This is the accusation that Netanyahu colluded with Noni Mozes, the head of the Yedioth Aharonot newspaper, to get favorable news coverage.
For years the “leftist” Yedioth Aharonot has been been Netanyahu’s nemesis running story after story on page after page which attempted to bring down his government. However, Yedioth Aharonot was hit hard by Sheldon Adelson’s newspaper pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom which is distributed for free on every Israeli street corner.
There is no question that Netanyahu and Mozes met on different occasions. And there seems to be no question that Netanyahu suggested that he could convince Adelson to limit production of his paper in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.
Nevertheless, no agreement was reached; Yedioth Aharonot never stopped publishing negative articles about Netanyahu, and Israel Hayom has of late been less supportive of Netanyahu.
So what took place? A discussion? It would seem that in court the most the police could claim is that Netanyahu offered to talk to Adelson in return for possible favorable coverage. Is this a crime?
Case 3000: This is the accusation that Netanyahu profited or that friends of his profited from the purchase of three submarines from Germany.
This case involves two aspects. In the first place, Netanyahu seems to have gone against then-Minister of Defense Ya’alon as well as others in the IDF establishment in insisting that Israel needs more up-to-date submarines to act as an offensive deterrent against missile attacks from Hezbollah, Iran, etc.
Secondly, the person who brokered the deal to buy the submarines from a particular German shipyard was David Shimron, Netanyahu’s brother-in-law. Shimron apparently received a $9 million commission for his part in the deal.
But Shimron has denied that Netanyahu knew anything about his involvement–and indeed, there is no evidence that he did. And as for the military evaluation about the need for the submarines, a number of military officials and non-military officials agreed with Netanyahu. Your humble servant is no military expert, but personally I would be happy to see more submarines capable of launching cruise missiles in Israel’s fleet.
In any case, the Germans have suspended the sale pending resolution of Case 3000.
There you have it. There is every indication that the Police will recommend to Attorney General Mandleblit that Netanyahu will be indicted on charges of “fraud, breach of trust, and bribery.” Whether Mandleblit will proceed with indictments is another story.
In the past Mandleblit has refused police requests for indictments citing “lack of evidence.” Whether he has the evidence now is anyone’s guess–despite what the Police say.
And what if Netanyahu is indicted? Would that mean the end of our current government?
The answer to that according to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is “No.” According to remarks made by Shaked yesterday, Netanyahu would not be required to resign unless he is convicted of a crime in court.
That is where things stand this morning in Israel. The Police continue to push for indictments, and Netanyahu continues to say “There is no there there.”
Time will tell.