Published On: Thu, Jul 20th, 2017

Who’s lynching prime minister? They are all selected by Netanyahu

Op-ed: All People in charge the investigating probs affairs were selected by Netanyahu: Attorney General, State Comptroller, Police Commissioner. He is the victim-they are incited mob.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an urgent meeting with Likud ministers. “There is a lynch trial going on here,” he told them. “They are trying to bring me and the Likud down.”

Charles Lynch, according to Wikipedia, was a planter in the State of Virginia. During the American Revolutionary War, he gave suspects who were thought to be a part of a Loyalist uprising a summary trial at an informal court. The sentences included whipping, property seizure, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscription into the military. White people in southern states adopted lynching as a punishment against black people. An incited mob would capture an innocent victim and hang him from a tree.

Is this what the police investigators, the Israel Securities Authority, the state comptroller and the media are doing to Benjamin Netanyahu these days? Is Netanyahu the new black person?

That’s an interesting question. The state comptroller’s investigation in the Communications Ministry began with a report I published in May 2015, immediately after Netanyahu was appointed communications minister. The report specified eight communication-related activities presented by the website of the Shimron, Molcho & Co. law firm, the firm which serves Netanyahu twice: Partner Isaac Molcho is his diplomatic emissary, and partner David Shimron is his personal and political lawyer. They are both his relatives, his confidants and his representatives.

“The firm played an important role in obtaining a variety of special communication licenses for its clients,” the website stated. One of the companies handled by Molcho was Pelephone, which is owned by another one of Netanyahu’s associates, Bezeq’s controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch.

 

Are the police investigators, the Israel Securities Authority, the state comptroller and the media all hanging Netanyahu from a tree these days? (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

The comptroller approached Netanyahu and asked for clarifications. This is where things got complicated, leading to the state comptroller’s report and to the scathing report released on Wednesday. It took Netanyahu five months to respond. In his response, he concealed his relations with Elovitch and his involvement, as communications minister, in decisions that helped Elovitch get richer at the public’s expense. The conflict of interest disclosure form he filled out was far from the truth. To find out the truth, the comptroller had to talk to anonymous sources.

Netanyahu, Shimron and Molcho are the threads binding the two investigations together—the submarine affair (Case 3,000) and the Bezeq affair, which should be referred to as Case 4,000. Netanyahu insisted, in an unconventional manner, on handling the defense deals with the Thyssenkrupp shipyards; Netanyahu insisted, in a move which made no sense, on holding onto the Communications portfolio, in addition to the three other portfolios in his possession. The decisions in both cases were made by him.

Shimron was involved in the submarine affair as the lawyer of Miki Ganor, the shipyards’ representative in Israel; according to allegations published on Wednesday, Molcho was involved in it too, as the prime minister’s representatives. The firm’s website can attest to the involvement of the Shimron, Molcho & Co. law firm in the Communications Ministry’s affairs.

There is another thread binding the two affairs together. That thread is greed.

All the interrogees in all the affairs are innocent until proven guilty. Even if it turns out that some of the suspects have gotten into trouble with the law, it doesn’t mean that Netanyahu has gotten into trouble with the law. But each of the affairs alone, and all of them together, give off a strong smell of corruption. “Power tends to corrupt,” Lord Acton said; so does time. A lot of power over an extended period of time corrupts sevenfold.

 

Behind everyone’s back

The argument over the number of submarines the Navy needs, the ways to maintain them and the supply rate is legitimate. So is the argument over the purchase of ships for the protection of gas fields. The question requiring clarification is what drove Netanyahu to handle the deal himself instead of leaving it to the Defense Ministry, which specializes in the field. This isn’t just a case of government workers’ envy. The Defense Ministry includes the control system that is supposed to monitor the purchase process and detect any breaches in it. There is no such system in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu has yet to provide a proper explanation for his decision to go behind the backs of the defense minister, the General Staff and the Defense Ministry. The common explanation—that he was relying on governmental subsidization from German Chancellor Angela Merkel—is lame, because the subsidization is given to provide the German shipyard with work, not to atone for the Holocaust.

 

So far, we have received no real explanation why the international bid for the defense boats was canceled, and why the Germans were selected. Another question was raised by former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and published by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday: Who gave the Germans the approval to sell the same submarines to Egypt, going against Israeli governments’ stated policy? The German government told Major-General Amos Gilad, Ya’alon’s emissary, that the approval was given by attorney Molcho on Netanyahu’s behalf. Netanyahu has denied it.

The questions raised by the Bezeq case are less irritating from a security point of view but are related to the cost of living of every citizen. The investigation centers on Shlomo (Momo) Filber, who was personally appointed director-general of the Communications Ministry by Netanyahu. The feeling in the media industry was that Filber was working for two people—Netanyahu and Elovitch.

As a regulator, Filber signed a series of decisions which helped Elovitch’s Bezeq get richer. The explanation he provided was, in short, that Bezeq’s huge profits would be invested in improving the Internet infrastructure. That didn’t happen. The price was paid by the public.

It’s too early to predict how the investigations will develop, but their effect on the involved parties is evident. Ganor, former Navy Commander Eliezer Marom, Shimron, Filber and Elovitch have been spending their days in the interrogation rooms. A large part of the money they have made will be invested in their legal defense. Elovitch lost in the stock exchange part of the money he earned in the regulation. Shimron and Molcho enjoyed the aura of being close to royalty. Now, they are living in the shadow of investigations. Shimron has been forbidden to contact the cousin who got him to this point.

The people heading the institutions investigating all the affairs were selected by Netanyahu—Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh. He is the innocent, helpless victim, the black person hanging from a tree; and they are the incited mob, his hangmen. Some people may buy it.

By Ynet News

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