I would like to address the issue of supervising phone hacking technology that is being exported by NSO Group and Cellebrite. As a former Cellebrite employee, I can say from personal experience that the company does nothing to prevent the abuse of its products by customers. It knowingly sells products and services to users of dubious repute, belonging to autocratic regimes.
Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International had access to a leak of more than 50,000 records of phone numbers that NSO clients selected for surveillance. According to an analysis of these records by the group and its partners, more than 180 journalists were selected in 21 countries by at least 12 NSO clients.
The Supreme Court is currently deliberating over Haaretz’s petition, drafted by attorney Tal Lieblich, to release transcripts of cabinet and ministerial committee meetings on the coronavirus. For more than a year, this battle has been wending its way through the courts. In addition to its demand that the full transcripts be released for public scrutiny, the petition seeks to mount a challenge in principle to a rule that automatically defines all ministerial meetings as classified – a rule that leads to documentation being buried in the archives for at least 30 years.
After 12 years in power, MK Benjamin Netanyahu adopted more than a few traits of this type: He turned the members of the government and cabinet into rubber stamps and concentrated power and numerous types of authority in his office. He undermined the principle of the separation of authorities, and especially the independence of the justice system and law enforcement, he compartmentalized the executive branch, cultivated a personal and familial cult of personality, ascribed to himself superhuman qualities, quashed the political competition in Likud and became his party’s supreme leader.
Netanyahu does a little walkabout in the plenum, glad-handling Likudniks. Interestingly, he ignores Nir Barkat whose already launched his own unofficial Likud leadership campaign.
Cohen was asked about his relationship with Packer following a Haaretz investigation, which revealed he had received a $20,000 gift for his daughter’s wedding, though the figure cited in ‚Uvda‘ was lower.
The recently retired Mossad chief, who is a close confidant of outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also asserted that „everything was done in consultation and with the approval of the attorney general“ and that Packer wanted to give „much more.“
Everyone knew it at once. Some Israelis hated the idea, others saw it as a blessing in disguise. After all, even if Israel had already lost the war, even if parallel lynch mobs of Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews were out for rival blood; even if in Israel synagogues were torched and a Muslim cemetery desecrated and sacred texts firebombed to ash, Netanyahu’s death grip on power had been rescued. By Hamas. And by the Jewish scumbag fascist supporters of terror whom Netanyahu had spent recent months coddling and courting and campaigning for.
The facts are simple: Hamas is good for Netanyahu, and Netanyahu is fabulous for Hamas. He never intended to “topple” its rule. He keeps strengthening this organization, intentionally, to weaken Israel’s interlocutors in the PA.
Hamas-Gaza is a perfect exemplar of the basic concept Ehud Barak coined in his day, and which has kept the left in the political margins for the past 20 years: There is no partner for peace on the Palestinian side. This is exactly what Netanyahu wants. Hamas and Netanyahu are a long, stable, profitable romance.
But amid the pressure from the harsh state of current events, Bennett stated Thursday that a government of change was no longer on the agenda. Instead of standing in the breach during an emergency, he folded and paved the way for the worst option of all: The continued reign of the person responsible for the horrible state our country is in.
Twenty-nine chaotic and nightmarish months, during which Israel has been dragged kicking and screaming into four elections by a cynical, unrestrained, corrupt and corrupting leader, might soon come to an end. Maybe even next week. A disgraceful, dark chapter in the country’s 73 years will end.
For the prime minister, it’s all about him. Always. For him, Holocaust Remembrance Day is just another opportunity to make a political speech, a self-serving tirade. As a bonus encore, just to make things even more politicized, this year’s speech also included a warning to President Joe Biden on Iran.
Israel, Mr. Netanyahu declared, “will not be committed” to a new agreement with Iran, if such an agreement is reached as a result of renewed nuclear negotiations. In Mr. Netanyahu’s world, the year is always 1938, Iran is Nazi Germany, the world is intoxicated with appeasement and he is the improved reincarnation of Winston Churchill.
The testimony of former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua, who alleges that Benjamin Netanyahu sought favorable coverage in exchange for regulatory relief for Walla’s owners Bezeq, is set to continue in the third day of the prime minister’s trial, just 24 hours after President Reuven Rivlin reluctantly tasked him with forming a government.
Yes, the statesmanlike one with the good looks and down-to-earth air, who has been seen washing floors and making coffee over a bonfire, all with a faux-bashful smile. He’s the person who has repeatedly prevented the country from returning to a path of sanity. This time he has relocated to the New Hope party, under the leadership of a new sucker called Gideon Sa’ar. But the ploy is the same ploy. This time too, one of the greatest obstacles to forming a government of change is Hendel’s refusal to form a coalition supported by the legitimate representatives of Israel’s Arab citizens.
But no attempt to tar the investigation as antisemitic and wage a campaign against the court can serve as a substitute for Israel’s obligation to conduct its own honest investigation into the incidents that gave rise to the complaint against it, halt the kinds of actions that put it on a collision course with the international community and cooperate with the court. A state that doesn’t consider itself to be guilty has no need to fear an investigation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose moaning bellowed out of our radios Monday morning, was at his absolute worst: crude, lying, taunting, humiliating and slandering. Not something pleasant to listen to with your morning coffee.
But mostly he sounded stressed out and frustrated.
At least Trump wasn’t stalking congressional Democrats to lure them into his camp. But to agitate, bribe and rule is the life’s blood of Netanyahu’s doctrine.
Netanyahu hasn’t merely adopted a policy of divide and conquer, the essence of colonialism, but has upgraded it, including against his own people. He has succeeded in sparking disputes within and breaking down nearly every party institution that stood in his way. He identifies his rival’s weak point, applies pressure, and the rest is history.
In the first 100 days of its imaginary government, the left would carry out a revolution. Mainly, not entirely, in its relation to the occupation, the topic that defines Israel’s identity more than any other. The first resolution passed by the left-wing government would end the siege of the Gaza Strip. In one day, as with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Strip would be liberated, its 2 million inhabitants would be free people. The sea would be open, and the border with Israel would be open and controlled. …
In essence, the left stands on three legs: the adherence to the principle of equality among all human beings, the opposition to the state’s expropriating nature of the state on both sides of the Green Line, and the striving for a society in which capital would not dominate and profits and commodoties cease to determine the value of human beings and their lives. The linkage between them explains why the left is so shrunken, having so few options for voting.
Labor was on the brink of extinction only a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s Meretz’s turn to signal polling distress. Why are Israel’s old parties of the left, once in power, now on life-support?
A year ago, Netanyahu waived his parliamentary immunity after he realized that in the Knesset elected in September 2019, he had no chance of receiving immunity. But the prime minister’s lawyers recently claimed in court that he never waived his right to parliamentary immunity, saying that the Knesset’s immunity proceedings were flawed.
It’s hard not to feel uncomfortable when we hear Gantz – who gave Netanyahu the government, betraying his voters and his partners – trying to look like someone worried about the future of the “Anyone But Bibi” camp and trying to serve as a strategic adviser.
In a speech far harsher than any delivered by a rival from the left, Elkin confirmed what Netanyahu’s fiercest enemies had been claiming all along: The prime minister had subordinated the good of the country, including its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, to his endless quest to avoid standing trial for criminal corruption.
The coronavirus pandemic is dangerous enough on its own – but adding the considerations of a prime minister who is a criminal defendant trying to escape justice, the result is systematic disregard for the population
If the High Court does not examine the Jewish nation-state law according to norms external to the Israeli system and in accordance with criteria derived from consensual universal and international norms and values, it will justify the existence of a regime of constitutionally-mandated segregation for every ethnic dominating group trying to grant itself exclusive supremacy in any country, not only the Jewish people in Israel.
“This system allows authorities to follow everything someone does online, and even permits them to manipulate the website these users visit,” said ethical hacker Noam Rotem, from the CyberCyber podcast. “This system allows tracking of each and every citizen or resident of Israel. But it’s not just that; the system is built in such a way that it can also follow intentions or motivations, and not just specific people. For example, it can track everyone who visited the website of the protest movement against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and can even block the real website and change what people are seeing,” Rotem said.
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Let me be clear, I’m not saying that Netanyahu wants people to get sick or die. He wants the pandemic to not disappear. He does not want a return to normal. He wants the emergency period to continue, for chaos to reign, for businesses to open and close like an accordion, and for the Israeli public to cry out to the heavens: Save us, Bibi. Save us like you saved us from the dreaded nuclear threat from Iran. After all, Bibi, the world expert in sowing fear and anxiety, has no equal when it comes to spurring terrified voters to cast their ballots for Likud.
It’s important for me to be precise, because I know the mechanisms of thought enforcement in my political camp, which will want to turn my words into support for Netanyahu. I firmly oppose the lockdown, but the fact that Israel is enforcing it by using the army doesn’t make the paratroopers’ presence at checkpoints proof that “the dictatorship is already here.” Certainly no more than the curfew in Spain and the soldiers patrolling the streets there were proof of Franco’s return.
Today, none of them would even trust an agreement to buy a bicycle from him. They’ll turn their backs on him when the scent of his weakness strengthens, at which point the Bibi-ists will call them a radical leftist faction financed by the New Israel Fund.
The haters of the old elite and Mapai followed Netanyahu because he promised to destroy these groups – and indeed in this realm he has chalked up a few achievements.
A new amendment to the coronavirus law is meant to enable the cabinet to prevent demonstrations outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem. This is a dangerous amendment that undermines Israel’s democratic character. Virtually its only purpose is to give the cabinet the power to prevent people from protesting in the places where they have been doing so until recently.
Carmil resents a comparison with the NSO Group. “I know the people at NSO and appreciate their know-how, but Cellebrite works in the legitimate world of the police force, whose abilities are closely controlled, unlike the world of NSO customers and others who engage in illegal and concealed activity. Cellebrite is totally on the good side, where court orders are used. We do not make tools for breaking into private entities or espionage organizations.”
If it were possible to get an answer from God, I would ask him at this time, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, what sin did we commit to deserve such a heavy punishment?
Israel is a banana republic, from top to bottom. The cabinet ministers don’t obey the coronavirus czar, the public doesn’t (fully) comply with the directives, the prime minister lies like he breathes and so on. This has an upside. Contrary to many people’s deep fears, real fascism will never take hold here: Someone will fail to send the fax with the correct spelling of the head of the opposition, or the bus driver for the reeducation camps will fail to wake up in time in the morning.
Thousands of Israelis gathered on Saturday evening outside the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem and at other locations around the country for the 11th consecutive week, calling on the prime minister to resign in light of his ongoing corruption trial
Outside Netanyahu’s fanatic base, no one in his right mind believes Netanyahu anyway. A poll released on Sunday by Channel 13 revealed that 50 percent of the Israeli public assumes that Netanyahu’s top priority in running the country is to is avoid his upcoming criminal trial, currently slated to start in January. Only 18 percent believe that Netanyahu’s actions stem from love of country and another 14 percent cite ideological differences with the center-left.
For too long we haven’t heard on the main news shows the dozens of medical experts who say we are walking on shaking ground that will topple us into a yawning abyss when the state closes down. They’ve made a mockery of Profs. Yoram Lass, Eyal Shachar, Idit Matot, Dr. Amir Sachar and many, many others, hid them deep down under the layers of horror, from which the coronavirus czar sprouted. There are no piles of dead bodies, so many people on ventilators that the hospitals cannot cope, enormous numbers of patients in critical condition forming a bottleneck in the hospitals. And it’s doubtful there ever will be.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, has his eyes firmly set on the future. He is openly campaigning to succeed Trump as the party’s leader and to be its candidate in 2024.
„I tried to film the cops, and then they decided to arrest me,“ said photographer Tomer Appelbaum after the incident, which was captured on video. „One punched me, one kneed me and one shoved my head.“ Some of his equipment was damaged, he said.
The swearing-in will take longer than usual, both due to the emergency regulations and the surfeit of ministers, some of whom won’t have any idea what they’ll be doing in the cabinet. If the event could have a soundtrack it would probably be a requiem – a mass for the democratic rules of the game that somehow survived here for 72 years.
Eleven High Court justices unanimously legitimized the strangest, most warped governing coalition ever engineered in a political laboratory. We’ll never know if the gun pointed at their heads – the threat of a fourth election – affected their judgment.
“The disappearance of Labor and Meretz would mean the elimination of the only alternative on the left side of the political map,” writes my contemporary Uzi Baram (“Don’t be so quick to toss out the Zionist left,” Haaretz, January 20). And I ask him: Where were you and your friends during all those years when your camp held power in the country and paved the way for the extreme right that holds power today? They are only continuing the path you began, and doing so openly and also openly saying: “Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands; and moreover all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of us.” But you did and you lied, you did and you deceived.
The immediate theater of friction with Iran isn’t its nuclear program but Soleimani’s legacy of military entrenchment in Syria.
On this score, despite the apparent lull in incidents in recent weeks, Military Intelligence thinks an opportunity has been created to accelerate the pace of attacks against Iran and its allies. And it has urged Israel to seize this opportunity despite its assessment that Iran and Hezbollah will respond militarily if any of their people are killed.
Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit formally submitted Benjamin Netanyahu’s 3-count indictment for corruption, fraud and breach of trust to the Knesset on Monday. Netanyahu now has 30 days to ask for parliamentary immunity. If time runs out, or if Netanyahu is refused, as currently seems likely, the pending indictment will automatically be formalized, Netanyahu’s three judges will be picked and a date for his trial will be set.
Unfortunately, history teaches that the current legislative branch has ceased to be a separate entity that can help balance the executive branch; it’s an arm of the cabinet. In effect, of the three branches of modern democracy, only two remain.
Like an obstinate commander who refuses to internalize his terminal condition, he manufactures in his feverish mind divisions and squadrons and sends them to the front. The force commanders surrounding him, whether for fear of his wrath or out of empathy and pity, play along with him. They come and go, pretending to be doing things, pretending that as long as he’s there, there’s hope. He looks at their faces and wonders what’s going through their heads. Who will defect, who will betray. Who will rise against him. …
Netanyahu’s unbridled and untethered election campaign outlined the shape of things to come if he wins: The slow and agonizing death of Israeli democracy
The importance and value of the Joint List at the present political-historical junction are greater than the sum of all the human traits, mistakes and flaws of its representatives.
Casting a ballot does not mean recognition of the state that was forced on you, but just the opposite: By voting you are forcing it and its institutions to acknowledge you, as natives of this country.
But yes, it is newsworthy, because we must continue believing that other ordinary people are reading what we write, people who are not yet speaking out. Maybe something about the gradual nature of the violence rings a bell with them: First they came for the socialists, then they came for the Jews, but we weren’t those things, so we remained silent. Then came the turn for the others, and we continued to be silent. And when thugs attacked us, there was no one left to protect us.
On Sunday, he said, he left work and noticed he was being followed. „I assumed they were police who had come to arrest me,“ said Pollak, who is also active in the organization Anarchists against the Wall. „I went into a place where I could avoid them but they got to me and pushed me to the floor,“ he says. He took some blows but after scratching his face with the knife, he says, they seemed to get spooked and fled.
Pollak did not complain to the police because „that is the last entity in the world I would turn to for protection. That’s simply not its job.“
But diplomatic “achievements” like the Bundestag decision are not just a distraction from Israel’s real problems that the Netanyahu government continues to ignore. They also remove a nonviolent Palestinian method of protest, and as a result are likely to cause damage to the future relations between the two peoples and to the security of Israeli citizens. Even those who are not convinced of the purity of the political motivations of the BDS movement must understand that the delegitimization of nonviolent Palestinian protest pushes the Palestinians, who are fighting for their national liberation, toward violence.
One of the most significant threats to Jewish nationalism, as expressed in the nation-state law, is Arab representation in the Knesset, according to a portion of the Israeli population. So I tell you, the Arab citizen: Do not give the right-wing government a prize – despair and isolation. You all have the political power to reshape public discourse in Israel by participating in elections. Use it.
And to all the citizens of Israel, from every tribe, I call to join the struggle against the elimination of democracy, to develop an Israeli society, pluralistic and prosperous, with the participation of minorities in the economy and in politics.
That might be a bigger deal, as Haaretz is a major Israeli newspaper, and having a foreign ambassador to Israel publicly condemning an Israeli paper for criticizing an incident that happened inside Israel is likely a diplomatic faux pas, and further presents the US role within Israel as politically aligned with one faction’s narrative.
Das könnte eine größere Sache sein, da Haaretz eine große israelische Zeitung ist, und einen ausländischen Botschafter in Israel zu haben, der eine israelische Zeitung öffentlich verurteilt, weil sie einen Vorfall in Israel kritisiert hat, ist wahrscheinlich ein diplomatischer Fauxpas und stellt außerdem die Rolle der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika in Israel als politisch auf die Erzählung einer Fraktion abgestimmt dar.