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.
They told him that Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former media advisor, told them that an investigation had been opened and that „all of them needed to coordinate their stories.“
„They proposed that I say that I initiated everything, that it was for ideological reasons, that I didn’t want the site to be leftist,“ Yeshua said.
„They said that I needed to erase all of our correspondence,“ to which Yeshua objected, and said he told Elovitch that he was concerned that he would accidentally lose private photos. According to Yeshua, the two pressed him to delete the photos and said it critical that he did it.
Angesichts des Korruptionsprozesses gegen den Regierungschef sei es keine leichte Entscheidung gewesen, ihn erneut mit der Regierungsbildung zu beauftragen, sagte Rivlin.
At the start of the session, the prosecution told Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman that Yeshua complained before them he received threatening messages after his testimony on Monday, and that Israel Police were informed.
Friedman-Feldman told prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari that the defense should have been notified as well as the police. „We don’t want to create drama or an impression that we’re contacting the witness,“ Ben-Ari said, to which Friedman-Feldman replied that it could influence his testimony.
This is the fifth time since becoming president in 2014, and the fourth time in the last two years, that Rivlin is forced to engage in this process.
“The entire proceeding against me was an abuse of the destructive power the prosecution holds,” Netanyahu said at a press conference. The prime minister referred to the hearing as a „charade,“ and went as far as accusing the state prosecution of an „attempted coup.“
„The prosecution opened this investigation against the law… and why did they do it? Because they’re on the hunt,“ Netanyahu claimed.
Der Premier soll regulatorische Gefälligkeiten von Behörden im Wert von rund 500 Millionen Dollar gewährt haben im Gegenzug für eine bessere Berichterstattung über Netanjahu und seine Frau Sara auf der konzerneigenen Website Walla.
The second group of witnesses are to testify in the so-called Case 1000 – the illicit gifts affair. First up will be businessman Arnon Milchan, who according to the indictment gave Netanyahu gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels. The prosecution recently announced that it had moved up the testimony of the witnesses in this case, following a report in Haaretz that the prosecutors feared the prime minister could exert undue influence on Milchan.
According to Channel 13 news, Netanyahu phoned Milchan on consecutive days last year around May or June, apparently around the time of the Shavuot holiday, telling him how much he and his wife Sara love the Hollywood producer and his family.
The calls came after Netanyahu pressured Milchan to release lawyer Boaz Ben Tzur so he could instead represent the prime minister, the network said.
Israels Premierminister steht wegen Machtmissbrauchs und Korruption vor Gericht, und doch wird eine Regierungsbildung ohne ihn schwer.
Yeshua, the first witness, is testifying on the claims that Walla gave favorable coverage to Netanyahu at the request of Walla owner Shaul Elovitch. The latter, who was the controlling shareholder of the telecommunications giant Bezeq, is accused of bribing the prime minister, which, according to the indictment against Netanyahu and Elovitch, he did in exchange for regulatory benefits the prime minister gave Bezeq when he was communications minister.
Lead prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari told judges that Netanyahu was involved in „a serious case of government corruption.“
In the past, Rivlin has set about consulting with party leaders immediately. This time, for an unexplained reason, he will start the consultations only on Monday, just two days before the deadline. This despite the fact that the new Knesset has no fewer than 13 parties, the highest number during his presidency.
Could the timing have anything to do with the fact that Monday is also the day when Netanyahu is finally due back in court, for the first testimony from a witness for the prosecution in his criminal trial?
Prior to the meeting, Gantz took to Facebook to announce his support of Opposition Leader Yair Lapid for the premiership and warned Mansour Abbas that “Bibi will use you” — referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his Israeli nickname.
In turn, Likud party members have begun talks with Mansour Abbas, leader of the Islamist party Ra’am and likely kingmaker in Israel’s March 23 election, who has not ruled out supporting a Netanyahu-led government.
According to online outlet Walla, citing Likud party officials, Abbas is not in favor of passing laws aimed at targeting individuals, but their position is not yet finalized.
This entails replacing the Knesset Speaker, taking over the chairmanship of the House Committee and the chairmanship of the Finance Committee and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees as well, Maariv reported.
Liberman further stressed in discussions the need to advance immediately legislation that will prevent an indicted individual to contend for the premiership.
United Arab List leader Mansour Abbas said Wednesday that he is not „obligated to any bloc or any candidate,“ after the Islamist party surpassed the electoral threshold, with almost 90 percent of the vote counted in Israel’s unprecedented fourth election in under two years.
Our investigative department got hold of new evidence concerning the Submarines Affair (our efforts continue – the department still investigates the affair in full energy). In our petition to the High Court of Justice we requested the judges to order the following:
1. Criminal investigation of Netanyahu’s Steel Shares Affair. 2. Criminal investigation against Netanyahu in the Submarines Affair. 3. Establishing a State Inquiry Committee in order to finally investigate this severe affair.
Victory for the pro-Netanyahu bloc might make him unstoppable, but the opposition’s impulse to depose the ruler could lead to some short-term pragmatism
Election Overdose podcast, episode 12, five days to go: Did Bibi’s handling of COVID-19 help or harm his electoral prospects ■ How the center-left opposition failed so miserably ■ Plus: Polls galore and last-minute surprises
Laschet is committed to Chancellor Merkel’s famous sentence, which she uttered when addressing the Knesset in Jerusalem in 2008, that Israel’s security is part of Germany’s raison d’être. According to Speich, “it is Laschet’s fundamental foreign policy conviction that Germany must commit itself to the security of Israel. It is a political obligation.”
Several prominent U.S. billionaires are on the list of over 300 people who could potentially be called as witnesses at Prime Minister Benjamin’s Netanyahu’s upcoming corruption trial.
The opening of the premier’s trial last May followed years of investigations, deliberations and legal proceedings that eventually took place during the course of three election campaigns, capped by a last-minute delay due to the coronavirus.
The court rejected a demand from the prime minister’s lawyers to dismiss the indictment by reason of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s failure to formally file a written request for the probe of Netanyahu.
However, the court did condemn Mandelblit for the oversight, saying it was a „defect“ in the legal procedures.
„This is a matter of procedural defect which doesn’t concern the root of the matter,“ the court stated, as cited by Hamodia.
Die Anwälte des Regierungschefs hatten Berichten zufolge auf einen Termin nach dem für den 23. März geplanten Urnengang gedrängt. Es ist die vierte Abstimmung binnen zwei Jahren.
A year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the three-fold crisis plaguing Israeli society threatens the basic contract between the state and its citizenry, and has led to a lack of trust in government leaders and institutions and an ‚unparalleled degree of polarization‘.
Several prominent U.S. billionaires are on the list of over 300 people who could potentially be called as witnesses at Prime Minister Benjamin’s Netanyahu’s upcoming corruption trial.
(20. April 1997)
Netanyahu told CNN’s Walter Rodgers he was „glad that the truth came out,“ and said the entire incident was „blown out of proportion and twisted out of shape.“
„It’s politics,“ he said in an interview shortly after the attorney general released his report. „Of course there were people out to get us. But this is going nowhere. It’s done. It’s finished.“
As Netanyahu arrived at court, some 150 protesters carrying signs that read „the State of Israel vs. Benjamin Netanyahu“ and „May The Defendant Rise“ demonstrated across the street.
By decision of the judges, Netanyahu had to attend the hearing.
Es ist das erste Mal seit Prozessbeginn im Mai vergangenen Jahres, dass der 71-Jährige sowie weitere Angeklagte im Jerusalemer Bezirksgericht wieder bei einer Sitzung anwesend sein müssen.
The far-right Kahanist party, Otzma Yehudit, announced on Wednesday that it will run on a joint slate with the National Union Party in Israel’s March election.
National Union said that they are still in talks with the far-right Habayit Hayehudi party and welcome a merger.
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.
The order could potentially postpone the calling of witnesses to right before Election Day, or right after.
The order came less than 48 hours after the same court rejected Netanyahu’s request for postponing his January 13 hearing next week.
The moment of truth for our future is approaching. What we saw the other day on the steps of the Capitol and inside it is a warning sign. Netanyahu’s readiness to break every rule and law is obvious, and reached a peak at the start of his trial, with that scene in the courthouse that could have come right out of a gangster movie. And in fact, the prosecutor in his trial is already under guard day and night, just like the prosecutors in the trials of organized crime bosses, and for the same reasons.
The trial has begun, and so a new situation is before us.
The amended indictment against Benjamin Netanyahu in Case 4000 (the Bezeq-Walla case) is a hair-raising document that details no fewer than 230 demands by the prime minister and members of his immediate family for more favorable coverage from the Walla news website – 150 of them by Netanyahu himself, either directly or via an intermediary. It shows yet again how Walla became a propaganda tool for Netanyahu in the guise of an independent media outlet.
In a weekend interview with Yediot Aharonot, Gantz said „I felt him stabbing me in the back and turning the knife.“
Nissenkorn, whose resignation took effect Friday morning, wrote on Facebook afterward that Gantz made „crazy concessions“ that would have emptied the justice minister post of authority in an effort to keep the government together.
The High Court, its president, Esther Hayut, the prosecution, Mendelblit, all have been subjected to brutal, ugly attacks. There’s no reason to envy them. But if there’s one thing they understand from their own life experience: Silence and capitulation is no way to stop a serial attacker.
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.
In its announcement Wednesday, the prosecutor’s office stated its intention to indict corporate entities Yedioth Aharonoth and Walla as well as Eurocom group companies through which Elovich controlled Bezeq, subject to a prior hearing. The Elovich group companies are suspected of bribery and money laundering, while Yedioth Aharonoth is accused of offering a bribe.
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
Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party said Sunday that it has agreed to postpone the Tuesday deadline to pass Israel’s 2020 state budget by one week, in a move that could give it more time to negotiate a deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud to avoid what would be a fourth election cycle in two years.
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz has agreed to curb Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn’s powers, sources said, in bid to stave off election.
In return, Gantz hopes to cement the rotation agreement for the premiership with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is upheld.
The three-judge panel headed by Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman is expected to focus in Sunday’s hearing on Netanyahu’s claim that he was protected by parliamentary immunity at the time of the filing of the indictments against him. The panel is expected to rule on the issue in the next few weeks because there is no dispute over the facts on this issue.
Gantz hatte diese Runde der Auseinandersetzung in der vorigen Woche mit einem Frontalangriff auf Netanyahu eröffnet, als er in seinem Ministerium eine Untersuchungskommission einsetzte, die den Kauf deutscher U-Boote näher beleuchten soll. Es geht um den Verdacht der Korruption im engeren Umfeld des Premiers.
The commission’s first meeting, scheduled for Monday, has been postponed at Mendelblit’s request until the scope of its activity has been defined. The commission is expected to submit a final report in about four months.
Thousands of protesters demonstrated on Saturday evening against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at intersections, bridges and squares across Israel, as weekly demonstrations continued for the 23rd week in a row.
The prime minister’s lawyers had also previously argued that the trial should be delayed due to coronavirus health restrictions, saying that it would be difficult to see whether a masked witness was „telling the truth.“
Mr. Netanyahu was not named as a suspect in an earlier police investigation of the purchase of submarines and missile boats from Germany that caught up several of his close associates. The planned commission of inquiry lacks legal authority. It may summon any witness to testify but cannot compel anybody to appear before it.
The submarine affair has become a central element in the protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where demonstrators have carried inflatable submarines inscribed with slogans like “S.S. Investigation.” Protesters are calling for a commission of inquiry into the affair, as well as calling on Netanyahu to step down in light of his corruption charges.
Police say they arrested 18 with protesters claiming 23 have been detained as they demand Netanyahu be investigated for the so-called ’submarine affair‘
Last Thursday, in an interview with Radio Anas, Abbas said he wouldn’t dismiss supporting legislation to freeze Netanyahu’s trial. The choice of Matanyahu Englman as state comptroller was attributed to the “defection” of Ra’am members from the opposition ranks, in addition to Abbas’ support for canceling the vote that approved the establishment of an inquiry committee on the submarine procurements.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s need to control this government’s expiry date is dooming it to complete paralysis in everything pertaining to senior officials’ appointments, and to preparing next year’s state budget.
The damage is piling up daily, and if the public cannot detect it, this is only because people are busy worrying about their physical and financial health.
: Representatives of the ruling party (in the spirit of the commander, the commander’s wife and their son) long ago crossed the red line that separates the parliamentary freedom to criticize and exercise oversight of the branches of government, and sowing fear, stoking unbridled incitement and making explicit threats against those who displease them.
Zohar allgedly threatened Mendelblit in October, saying that if the attorney general did not resign from his position and drop the three pending corruption indictments against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, incriminating recordings of Mendelblit would be leaked to the public.
The police interrogation of Zohar was authorized by the state prosecutor’s office.
The opinion states that Netanyahu cannot make decisions regarding appointments to the legal system or law enforcment. Netanyahu must also be barred from making decisions regarding witnesses, other defendants or engaging in legislation that could affect the proceedings against him, Mendelblit wrote.
Furthermore, Netanyahu cannot interfere in several areas under the jurisdiction of the Communications Ministry.
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.
Following the expiration of movement restrictions, tens of thousands of protesters gathered across Israel Saturday night, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down in light of his criminal indictments, and many faced violence at the hands of both police and right-wing groups.
It’s just like in the Mafia: The boss is surrounded by soldiers. By made men.
They’re the ones he sends into the streets to kneecap his enemies. They don’t ask questions. They carry out orders. Sorry, instructions. An explicit utterance isn’t always needed. A look or nod can suffice. They understand.
Saying that there are incriminating tapes from a previous court case against Avichai Mendelblit that will be released, Miki Zohar demanded the attorney general drop Netanyahu’s charges and resign
Israeli television news on channels 11 and 13 reported Monday that Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit doesn’t plan to investigate allegations concerning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s financial ties to his cousin Nathan Milikowsky. If these reports are true, this decision lays the groundwork for corrupt norms to become entrenched in Israeli politics for many years to come.
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.
It’s important to be precise: In practice, this legislation does not limit demonstrations, it bans them. The proposed restrictions are so draconian that they amount to a prohibition. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting, in the most cynical fashion, to exploit the coronavirus and the restrictions needed to fight its spread in order to undermine fundamental democratic rights and to suppress the dissent against him and his incorrigible government.
The AG did not specify how such a possibility may unfold or when a decision from his office would be made.
“It’s not math. I’m not rushing to anything, and I’m trying to be very considered and very calm.”
Mandelblit continued by stressing that the prime minister was not “doing me a favor” by agreeing to sign a binding conflict-of-interest deal as part of the arrangements for him to remain in office while on trial.
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.
Also on Tuesday, the Knesset is debating an amendment to the government’s coronavirus law that would bar protesters from traveling more than a kilometer (0.6 mi) from their homes to attend a demonstration.
Outside, hundreds of protesters gathered to protest the legislation, three of whom were arrested by Israel Police.
Parliamentary voting will resume after the government failed to complete ratification of the legislation on Friday, and so protests were held Saturday night, as they have been for the past several months on Saturday evenings.
The government has sought to limit the distance protesters can protest to within 1 kilometer from their homes, a restriction which the current version of the law, passed in July, specifically prohibits. The government is now seeking to restrict protesters’ movements.
The motorcades were organized in light of the government’s attempts to curtail citizens‘ right to demonstrate during the country’s second nationwide lockdown. Despite gaining government approval, restrictions that would only allow Israelis to protest within a 1,000 meter distance from their home failed to make it through the Knesset.
The Knesset, mired in political deadlock, failed to pass legislation that would limit the right to protest under the coronavirus restrictions that took effect at 2 P.M. Friday.
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.
„The exact outline for protests will for the moment be very limited, but if they actually allow more prayer, then they’ll allow protests at the same level,“ he said of the new restrictions, which allow demonstrators to protests only within a kilometer of their homes and in groups of 20. „I think that at the moment, the trend is to have solidarity.“
Nissenkorn, a Kahol Lavan member, added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not acting cynically and wanted a partial closure, „even after two weeks where protests [in front of his official residence] were not allowed, and neither was going from city to city, he didn’t achieve that.“
Israel is the only country in the world to impose a second nationwide lockdown. On Erev Rosh Hashanah, the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israelis are again being placed under harsh restrictions that will disrupt their livelihood, their way of life and their mental health.
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.
Netanyahu is pursuing two tracks simultaneously. The first is that of the attorney general. It involves ceaselessly attacking Avichai Mendelblit to get him to break and resign, thereby enabling Netanyahu to appoint an attorney general after his own heart who will cancel his trial due to “lack of public interest.”
The second track is the general lockdown he intends to impose later this month to stop the demonstrations outside his official residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street.
Senior police officers have been charged with sex crimes against their subordinates. They have consorted with famous rabbis, ministers and mafia bosses. One was offered a bribe that he did not report. Another served as a mole for a tycoon who was the target of a police intelligence operation.
One officer, considered a rising star, worked with a famous lawyer to trade sensitive information from undercover investigations for cash-filled envelopes. …
Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is holding consultations on Wednesday whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be disqualified from serving as premier, because of what Mendelblit sees as Netanyahu’s use of the office for his personal benefit as a defendant in three corruption cases.
And third, Benjamin Netanyahu has utilized the paralysis and confusion he has imposed on Israel’s body politic over the past two years to dismantle the checks and balances that stand in the way of his efforts to avoid criminal trial. It is one of many battles in the total war that Netanyahu is waging against the very foundations of Israeli democracy, which, in his distress and incessant self-victimization, he has come to despise.
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.
Kurz vor Ablauf einer Frist billigte das Parlament in Jerusalem gestern eine Gesetzesinitiative, die weitere Zeit für die Verabschiedung des Haushalts einräumt. Hätte die Knesset nicht rechtzeitig zugestimmt, hätte sich das Parlament automatisch aufgelöst. Die vierte Wahl in weniger als zwei Jahren wäre die Konsequenz gewesen.
Over the past few days, sources in both parties assessed that the chances that the rotation agreement, which would see Gantz replacing Netanyahu as prime minister, actually being fulfilled are not particularly high, and that the next elections are just a matter of time.
If, after all, the bill is approved, the next exit point for an election under conditions convenient for Netanyahu will be pushed back to late December. Taking that exit would mean an election in April, six months before Netanyahu is to pass the reins of power to Benny Gantz.
So we must take seriously the report in Israel Hayom, the Netanyahu family’s private journal, saying that the prime minister is willing to give up the one-year budget – and consequently an election – in exchange for appointing the police commissioner and attorney general of his choice.
Hundreds more attended a protest outside Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea, while tens of thousands showed up at bridges and intersections across Israel
To understand what the crime syndicate that has taken over this country is after, one must first understand the goals of the man who leads it. The criminal defendant bunkered down in Balfour Street has three goals: to remain prime minister, to cancel his trial and to prevent the truth from coming out about the so-called steel shares and submarines affairs (which could result in charges that are much more serious than those in his current trial).
The Israeli premier reportedly wants immediate elections in case the High Court of Justice disqualifies him from serving as alternate prime minister, after his rotation with Gantz commences in November 2021, due to the indictments filed against him.
His second demand is to dissolve a public committee slated to appoint the state prosecutor and police commissioner and transfer the procedure to the government instead.
The report suggested that Gantz’s Blue and White party will find it „difficult“ to approve Netanyahu’s first request.
The bill, brought forward by Kahol Lavan’s former political allies Yesh Atid, is aimed at preventing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from running for office in the next election. Netanyahu currently stands trial for suspected bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Netanyahu’s original plan was to go through the motions of trying to set up a new coalition, declaring failure and setting a date for a fourth election. He was sidetracked by the sudden realization that Gantz could be coaxed into an illusory power-sharing agreement, thus precipitating the break-up of Netanyahu’s center-left opposition while delegitimizing his partner’s leadership role at the same time. Gantz was forewarned that Netanyahu was laying a trap for him, but decided, naively and disastrously, to walk straight into it.
The victimization and persecution that are imprinted and growing inside of him release Netanyahu from guilt feelings, pangs of conscience or even a shred of a feeling of responsibility. He sees himself as fighting a constant war of survival and defense against the stated and clandestine groups who are conspiring to bring him down or eliminate him. This is why he will never understand that he is the person directly and centrally responsible for the violent and bloody street battles that we saw this week, which could deteriorate into murder in seconds.
We’ve almost forgotten how all this started. When he was indicted, I wrote that to keep his trial from going forward, including the testimony of state witnesses that is expected to spell his political end, he wouldn’t hesitate “to burn down the clubhouse.” Literally.
Now the testimony phase of his case is approaching. In another five months, the first of those three state witnesses will take the stand. What can stop it? A civil war, for example. A siege of the Jerusalem District Court, for example.
The judges – panel head Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham – ruled that in this second hearing only the defense attorneys would be present, not the accused.
Police arrested 55 demonstrators Thursday night as thousands of anti-government protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem, calling for his resignation over his corruption charges and what they call a mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis and assault on democracy.
Die Beweisaufnahme im Korruptionsprozess gegen Israels Premier Netanyahu wird wegen Corona nun erst 2021 starten. Allerdings werden die Proteste gegen seine Politik in der Pandemie immer lauter.
The panel of judges, headed by Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham, ruled that in this second hearing only the defense attorneys would be present, not the accused.
Friedman-Feldman determined that the evidentiary phase will begin in January 2021, with three sessions a week.
The person who will determine whether the trial which has riven society in two will be fast-tracked or drag its feet is the head of the panel of judges, Rivka Friedman-Feldman. If she decides to speed things up, there is no reason the trial should drag on for years.
‚We’re young and no longer willing to shut up and be nice,‘ says one of the thousands of demonstrators who turned up near the Prime Minister’s Residence angry and bold
Thousands of Israelis protested outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday (July 14), demanding his resignation over what they say has been an inept government response to the coronavirus crisis as well as his corruption trial.
Israeli police have clashed with protesters outside Benjamin Netanyahu’s house, as the embattled prime minister faces heightened criticism for alleged corruption and his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Jerusalem municipal officials, accompanied by police, arrived outside the premier’s residence and began to dismantle tents of a protest camp that had been erected weeks ago by people calling for Netanyahu to resign.
Thousands demand Netanyahu’s resignation over corruption charges ■ Man suspected being undercover police officer beaten by protesters
Around 2,000 protesters arrived at the rally under the moniker “Bastille Day,” named after the July 14th French National Day which commemorates the storming of a grand fortress — an event that launched the French Revolution in 1789.
Netanyahu has been drawing criticism not only for his alleged misconduct in the three corruption cases against him, but also for his attacks on the attorney general, the media, law enforcement and the judiciary in his arguments that the charges against him are baseless.
Protesters have also demanded further investigation into allegations of impropriety in the purchase of submarines from Germany.
“I just got up, made a sign and went out to the street and protested,” he explained. “Every Saturday, just a friend [and I were] on the street corner.”
Ben Shitrit happens to be a cousin of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, one of Netanyahu’s staunchest allies and defenders. He says he hasn’t spoken to his cousin, whom he calls a “sycophant” and a “poodle,” in years.
Netanyahu’s fixation with controlling the media is dangerous enough; controlling law enforcement will be worse
The 70-year-old premier, whose personal fortune has been estimated at more than $10 million, was also ordered to return some of the money he received from his American cousin Nathan Milikowsky to cover legal expenses.
Following those setbacks, defense lawyer Micha Fettman resigned from the right-wing premier’s defense team.
Multiple Israeli media outlets reported Wednesday that the resignation was linked to money and the prospect that Fettman’s fees would not be covered.
At the end of summer 2020, Israeli democracy died in broad daylight.
We believe in a Jewish and democratic Israel. We feel no obligation to defend Netanyahu’s pathological viciousness, monumentally stupid annexation, incitement and self-enrichment
‚Black Flag‘ movement continues demonstrations against prime minister, on trial for alleged corruption and accused by critics of attempting to subvert democracy
Netanyahu’s strategy is transparent. He doesn’t have a scrap of evidence that would support his claims about Mendelblit. If he did, he wouldn’t need the campaign of mudslinging and lies that he’s conducting.
All Netanyahu wants is to cast doubt on Mendelblit’s motives, strengthen the doubt and cultivate it, until it casts a pall on the integrity of the legal proceedings against him.
Earlier, Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 13 reported that Justice Ministry officials slammed recent comments of Netanyahu and Likud ministers, saying “They continue the delegitimization campaign against law enforcement authorities when next up will be the judges.
“They [Netanyahu, Likud] repeat the same farcical mantras and lies, and knowingly lie to the public,” they added, according to Channel 13.
Some are veteran protesters, some are newcomers, but all of them agree that the younger generation – that they say takes no interest in politics – must be enlisted to bring about change
He also commended the United States for the January drone strike that killed Quds force leader, „arch-terrorist“ Qasem Soleimani and warned that Israel will do everything necessary to make sure that Iran does not expand its foothold in Syria.
The comments were made during a joint press briefing with Brian Hook, US Special Representative on Iran, who visited Israel as part of his larger official Middle East trip.
The prime minister seeks to receive outside funding from his cousin Nathan Milikowsky as well as from Partrich. After convening last month, the panel asked the attorney general for his position, as Partrich is listed as a witness in one of the cases against Netanyahu.
The organizers said that over the course of the week, they will establish a protest tent on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard – recalling the tent city that had been erected there during the social protests of 2012.
Additional protests are taking place at some 70 intersections throughout the country. Dozens of protesters are present at each junction, holding signs reading „Netanyahu is corrupt and corrupts,“ „Investigation now“ (referring to the so-called submarine affair), „The defendent needs to go home,“ and other slogans.
Protests organized by the Black Flags movement against corruption broke out across Israel late Saturday, with demonstrators blocking more than 70 intersections nationwide following the arrest of retired Brig.-Gen. Amir Haskel on Friday afternoon.
Demonstration part of ongoing ‘black flag’ anti-corruption protests against the prime minister, who is standing trial in a series of graft cases
The proposed West Bank land grab is so patently unhinged it sparks suspicions of more ambitious and sinister designs
Drucker’s investigative report broadcast Wednesday on the Hebrew-language Channel 13, included a recording of Shaul Elovich, a personal friend of Netanyahu and a majority shareholder in the Bezeq telecommunications company, appearing to discuss with with former Walla news CEO Ilan Yeshua how to frame news coverage of Netanyahu so as to present the leader in a positive light.
Bezeq fully owns the Hebrew-language Walla website.
The prime minister is a maimed animal. This statement does not diminish from the egregiousness of his statements – the incitement, the attacks on the judicial system and the media, hurling accusations at all and sundry – but it explains his conduct and motives.
He’s a wounded animal, persecuted, aggressive, violent, bent on survival, with no qualms about using any available means, just like any animal that’s fighting for its life.
In response to the new development, a statement released on behalf of the prime minister called the new investigation threat “extortion.”
“The anonymous threats by police investigators to open another futile investigation against the prime minister… is an attempt to silence none other than the prime minister of Israel,” the statement said. “These threats are a clear example of the sickness that must be corrected in order to secure Israel’s democracy.”
etanyahu enters the ring on Sunday at the peak of his powers after breaking up his opposition and securing his fifth appointment as prime minister. He’s got Israel’s ruling party and half of its cabinet and parliament willing to do whatever it takes to intimidate Netanyahu’s accusers and judges. And he’s got a dangerous mob behind him, baying for action, praying for a pretext.
Netanyahu is the first sitting Israeli PM to be tried in court. He was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in November.
These won’t be the faces of his yes-men or the politicians begging for a portfolio, scattering the last crumbs of their dignity.
Kein israelischer Regierungschef ist länger im Amt als Benjamin Netanyahu. Heute schreibt er erneut Geschichte: Als erster amtierender Premier steht er vor Gericht. Die Anklage: Bestechlichkeit, Betrug und Untreue.
This means that Netanyahu may have to be present at the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday to hear the charges read against him in three corruption cases — of which he has vehemently denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Israels Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanjahu muss zum Auftakt seines Korruptionsprozesses am Sonntag persönlich anwesend sein. Das Justizministerium begründete das heute unter anderem damit, dass das Vertrauen der Öffentlichkeit in einen fairen Prozess gewährleistet werden müsse. Damit wurde ein Antrag von Netanjahus Anwälten abgelehnt.
Netanyahu, charged with bribery and fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases, claimed in his request Monday that having to show up at court for the first hearing – which he claims is merely a technicality – would “cost the public a fortune.”
The trial was initially scheduled to open on March 17, but was delayed after former Justice Minister Amir Ohana froze the courts as part of the coronavirus emergency regulations.
They well knew that over the years, Netanyahu has repeatedly proven that he has used the seat of prime minister as a pickaxe with which to dig a tunnel to escape prosecution. They know that for years he has exploited his position to discredit, lie, deceive, incite and mock the legal and judicial authorities, to evade the arm of the law; that for at least a year and a half he has been threatening that same tribunal from which he now sought permission to return to his seat, so that from there he could continue to crush that same tribunal.
He asked for it, and he got it.
It’s as if some suicidal spirit had seized the court.
The Likud-Kahol Lavan unity government due to be sworn in on Thursday was born in the sin of the severe crimes of bribery of which Benjamin Netanyahu is accused. This coalition was only made possible by defrauding massive numbers of voters, and even before it has been established, it has already become synonymous with the political system’s breach of the public’s trust.
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 Knesset (Israel Parliament) also passed a raft of legislative changes to the country’s semi-constitutional Basic Laws, paving the way for a government to be established after more than a year of political deadlock.
Die Koalitionsvereinbarung von Netanjahus Likud mit dem Mitte-Bündnis Blau-Weiß sei zwar juristisch problematisch, hieß es in dem Urteil. Dennoch gebe es gegenwärtig keinen Grund für das Gericht, sich einzumischen.
According to The Times of Israel, Chief Justice Esther Hayut signaled during the proceedings that the court will neither stand in the way of Netanyahu forming a government nor of the coalition deal moving forward.
Expanded panel hears arguments Sunday on request that prime minister be disqualified over the criminal charges against him
The so-called „Black Flag“ protests were organized by the Movement for Quality Government under the slogan “Saving the court, saying no to corrupt government”. Protesters carried signs that read „We’re sick of corruption“ and „emergency government, corruption government“. At the mention of members of Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party the crowd booed and shouted, „Shame!“
Nothing of the like has been seen before – not in Israel or in any other advanced democracy. This political agreement, fundamentally corrupt and rotten, emasculates the Knesset under cover of the coronavirus, undermines the foundations of our system of government and subordinates the Supreme Court to the government.
The obvious reason for its existence is neither the coronavirus nor the crisis, but immunity for the criminal defendant, Benjamin Netanyahu, in any situation and at any price.
When the pandemic erupted and a state of emergency was declared, Justice Minister Amir Ohana was the first of the ministers to act, and in a rather suspicious manner ordered the work of the courts frozen only a few days before the prime minister’s trial was meant to begin. It later emerged that the move was coordinated with Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and the courts administrator, Yigal Marzel. The state of emergency declared for the courts was then extended to May 10.
More than 2,000 Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday, demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to form an “emergency” government with his chief rival and accusing him of using the coronavirus crisis to escape prosecution on corruption charges.
“Let there be no doubt, the High Court will take the opportunity to oust me,” Netanyahu himself says in these conversations. He warns that if the court prevents him from being prime minister, or if a law is enacted banning him from running for the post in the future, a civil rebellion will erupt. “Masses will take to the streets,” he predicts. “There will be a call to boycott the election.”
Der seit 14 Jahren in Israel regierende Netanjahu steht wegen Bestechlichkeit, Betrugs und Untreue unter Anklage. Er streitet alle Vorwürfe ab und sieht sich als Opfer der Staatsanwaltschaft und der Medien.
Der Korruptionsprozess gegen ihn hätte eigentlich Mitte März beginnen sollen, wurde aber wegen der Coronavirus-Pandemie um zwei Monate auf den 24. Mai verschoben.
On one hand, the prime minister says we are in the midst of a crisis not seen since the Dark Ages and on the other he abuses the crisis to try to escape his day in court.
How do our leaders expect us to cooperate during one of the worst crises Israel has ever known when our confidence in them is crumbling?
Rivlin agrees to give Gantz until Wednesday
Außerdem wollte Netanjahu demnach eine Garantie, dass das Höchste Gericht ihm das Amt des Regierungschefs nicht wegen seiner Korruptionsanklage verweigern kann.
One of first jobs facing a Netanyahu-Gantz government will be to appoint a permanent state prosecutor. Netanyahu must not be allowed to control or have even the slightest influence over who gets this post, given the important role the state prosecutor will play both in managing Netanyahu’s trial and in potential future investigations.
A criminal defendant will stay prime minister. Netanyahu has been rewarded, not punished, for his misuse of power in recent days. The exclusion of the Arab minority continues. And more than a million Israelis who voted for Blue and White have received a brutal lesson in political cynicism.
In all of this, Gantz is now Netanyahu’s partner.
„The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accomplishing something that three elections couldn’t — it’s forcing Israel’s deeply divided leaders to put the health and safety of the nation ahead of their own political fortunes,“ Israeli-American political analyst and author Joel Rosenberg told CNBC over the weekend.
The word “magician” is too weak to describe this stunning achievement, which isn’t solely a result of his political abilities. His magic, as in countless other occasions during his long career, was mixed with something else – destiny. Cosmic wizardry.
The coronavirus pandemic arrived with inconceivably perfect timing from his perspective, a moment before the bloc elected by his opponents – which originally numbered 62 Knesset members – began pushing through laws that would have prevented him from running for prime minister.
Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz will reportedly support a new law allowing incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve in the government despite multiple indictments against him, according to Hebrew media.
Current Israeli Parliament (Knesset) legislation bars elected officials from serving as government ministers while being charged with a crime.
The activists say they use the black flag, pinning them to the back of vehicles, to symbolize the danger a prime minister under indictment poses to Israeli democracy, according to The Times.
Netanyahu was indicted last year on three charges following a years-long corruption investigation, including breach of public trust, bribery, and fraud.
Crazy turn of events.
The High Court ruled in a unanimous decision Monday that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein must convene the Knesset no later than Wednesday, to elect his replacement.
Israel’s High Court of Justice approved Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s request to submit his answer today at 9 pm (local time) regarding whether he will convene a parliamentary vote for his replacement.
Throughout Israel’s 72-year existence, the Knesset Speaker had only been replaced once a new government was sworn in. Thus, replacing Edelstein before a government is formed would represent an unprecedented move, even with a majority vote.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the country’s parliament to reconvene for the selection of a new speaker, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he tries to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis and fend off a looming corruption trial.
The current speaker, Yuli Edelstein of Netanyahu’s Likud party, suspended the parliament’s activities last week, citing procedural issues and restrictions on large gatherings due to the virus.
Monday is an important test for Israeli democracy. The Knesset is due to resume its deliberations amidst the political crisis and the spread of the coronavirus.
If the Knesset chairman Yuri Edelstein, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political hatchetmen from Likud, continue with their delay tactics to prevent the legislative branch performing its duty, Israel will win the dubious title of the only „parliamentary democracy“ to fail to recognize the results of its last democratic general election and to be governed by an inoperative parliament.
Under the cover of a pandemic, he is transforming himself from lame-duck prime minister to unelected strongman. He and his henchmen have shut down parliament, enacted extreme “security” measures without legislative oversight and shelved the courts just as Netanyahu was about to go on trial for corruption.
I don’t use the word “coup” lightly. But any weaker description of Netanyahu’s assault on Israeli democracy is a refusal to absorb and report the truth.
Since a majority of Knesset members – 61 out of 120 – oppose the government, Edelstein was dispatched to block the activity of the legislature and prevent it from voting in a new speaker. It is inconceivable that a temporary speaker would use his authority to set the agenda in order to prevent the selection of a permanent speaker. It is parliamentary bullying, and it must stop immediately.
For years and years, we wondered when the occupation would come home.
It happened this week.
As the settlers once said in a different context: Yesha Zeh Kan – Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here.
One set of laws for the tyrant’s allies. Another set of laws for everyone else. Innocent civilians hounded. Their persecutor – never held accountable.
Raise the black flag. Stand up to the tyrant.
This is the fitting flag for this new Israel.
Panic over the coronavirus, justified as it may be, mustn’t blind the public from seeing how the temporary prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his party are exploiting the crisis to hold onto power. Through their management of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu and his government are neutralizing the justice system and quarantining the legislature.
These special means include gathering data about a person’s location via their cellphone and additional technological information using secret tools, and cross-referencing all of the data.
The process identifies all of the contacts coronavirus patients have had and the places they were, whether they are aware of it or not.
Protesters said they were angry at anti-democratic measures being taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak, such as this week’s decision to use cyber measures to track the location of people diagnosed with the virus as well as suspected coronavirus patients, in addition to strict restrictions to achieve social distancing, such as barring thousands of people from leaving their homes.
Further, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dispersed parliament on Wednesday, deepening the paralyzation of Israel’s legislative body, which critics have seen as an attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s democratic institutions.
Blue and White expressed outrage, accusing Edelstein of „trampling Israeli democracy at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest.“ The party said it would appeal to the Supreme Court against Edelstein on Thursday to force him to convene the plenum and „end the craziness.“
We are about to let the government gain absolute control over our lives – and thus know who we are, where we have been, when and with whom and who we speak to and when – without any form of consent or restriction.
By preventing the formation of the organizing committee, Speaker Yuli Edelstein also hampers the formation of the Knesset oversight committees on the coronavirus crisis
Edelstein has effectively prorogued parliament and with a total coronavirus shutdown expected in Israel any day now, politicians and political commentators have argued that the speaker’s actions have engendered one of Israel’s severest constitutional crises ever.
„The manner of how the inauguration will take place will be decided after another assessment tomorrow with relevant professionals,“ Edelstein said.
Replacing Edelstein could let Kahol Lavan push through legislation to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government while under indictment
Fear is the tyrant’s best friend – and liberty’s worst enemy. The human instinct for survival is more powerful than any social commitment to decency, due process, separation of powers or the nuances of democracy. As philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “Neither a man, nor a crowd, nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”
Fear was the instrument wielded most by 20th century tyrants, dictators and authoritarians. It provided them with pretext to remove restrictions, expand authority and to diminish, if not destroy, checks and balances.
His subjects, thanks to the terrifying television broadcasts, have become a hysterical herd. They have gone into war mode. It’s as if this war fell out of the sky as a gift to Netanyahu. But it’s not just luck. It’s also brains. Netanyahu refused to resign and refused to give up. Campaign after campaign, he grasps at his seat like a drowning person grasps at driftwood floating in the middle of the sea. He grasps and grasps and refuses to let go, until the ship comes along to carry him to safe haven, the corona ship.
The party has rejected this option in the past on principle that Netanyahu should not serve as premier because of his indictment in corruption cases.
The trial was set to begin on Tuesday. It has now been pushed back to May 24.
Both Netanyahu and Gantz have repeatedly spoken of winning a “Jewish majority” in the election, a deeply controversial notion that in spirit delegitimizes the votes of Arab citizens of Israel. However senior lawmakers from Blue & White met with their counterparts from the Joint List on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of the latter’s recommending Gantz as prime minister during consultations with President Reuven Rivlin tomorrow (Sunday, March 15). Gantz, the head of Blue & White, needs the support of the Joint List to show he has enough backing to form a government. Before the Corona crisis, Gantz had adamantly refused to join a government headed by Netanyahu as long as he is under indictment.
Next Tuesday, March 17, Netanyahu’s trial will commence in the Jerusalem District Court.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, is desperate to remain in office because installing a new government would give him an important political boost and potentially allow him to legislate his way out of the legal quagmire.
His opponent, Benny Gantz, refused to sit with him in government and appears poised to push for legislation in the incoming parliament that would bar anyone indicted for a crime from leading a government – in effect disqualifying Netanyahu from his position.
Netanyahu will be required to be present in court next week for his first hearing on March 17 after the court found that the prime minister’s lawyers‘ arguments did not justify postponing the hearing, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel’s right didn’t get the victory it expected – but at least there’s corona ■ Netanyahu’s 2020 achievement: Boosting the Joint List ■ Left and right, Naftali Bennett and Amir Peretz are waging the same war
Announcement means center-left, Joint List bloc will have 62 Knesset seats to pass bill
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a blow on Thursday afernoon when Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman endorsed Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s efforts to pass a law that would prevent an indicted MK from forming a government.
„Attempts are being made across the web to suppress the participation of Arab citizens of Israel,“ said Morshed Bebar, who led the Democratic Bloc investigation.
Bebar said that publication patterns by these fake accounts indicate an organized and systematic operation.“
Netanyahu’s ever-changing campaign slogans and the self-praise he exudes in every rally and interview barely mask the prime minister’s real goal: to avoid prosecution for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The “judicial reforms” promised by the right-wing parties are aimed at aiding one particular, privileged defendant, to save him from facing justice, from the humiliation of appearing in court and perhaps even from imprisonment. To obtain that goal, they will turn the entire legal system into an obedient arm of a right-wing government.
In Israel wird heute ein Parlament gewählt, zum dritten Mal innerhalb eines Jahres. Für Premierminister Netanyahu werden es aber nicht nur deshalb spannende Wochen. Korruptionsvorwürfe haben ihn vor Gericht gebracht.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed, apparently falsely, during a prime-time television interview on Saturday that reports have described as “leftists” the judges who will preside over the three corruption cases against him, and demanded a denial of the alleged claim.
It is no secret that Netanyahu’s political behavior is almost entirely shaped by his desire to survive in office for as long as possible in order to avoid possible jail time.
Two weeks after the elections, Netanyahu’s criminal trial on charges of bribery and breach of trust begins. He doesn’t have to resign unless he is convicted and if that conviction is upheld through the appeals process.
And, once the dust has settled on this election, how does Netanyahu plan to defeat his main rival and his potential nemesis – the Israeli justice system?
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is projected to win a narrow lead over Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan in next week’s Israel election, according to two polls published Sunday by Channel 12 and Kan public broadcaster.
Israeli court says Prime Minister Netanyahu corruption trial to begin March 17, two weeks after national elections.
Israel’s attorney general on Tuesday filed the indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three corruption cases to a district court, effectively launching the trial against the premier.
Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu announced he was withdrawing his request for immunity from prosecution in the three corruption cases, in which he is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Netanyahu made his decision public after his chief political rival, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – who met with Trump on Monday but decided to skip the release of the peace plan in order to take part in the immunity debate – was already back in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hours before facing a likely defeat in the Israeli parliament, withdrew his request for official immunity from prosecution on corruption charges Tuesday, giving up a controversial gambit to shield himself from legal peril a month before a national election.