@BarakRavid ברק,לא במקרה הוא רק רומז.כשאין מה לכתוב אז מייצרים עניין דרך רמזים שמקשים על תביעת דיבה.חבל שאתה מסיק מה שלא כתוב בטור ומפיץ שקר
— גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) April 3, 2016
Amir Oren, one of Israel’s best investigative journalists, reports in Haaretz (Hebrew) that a highly-placed Israeli minister approached a senior police commander, asking him to close a case. Not just any case. This one was as hot as they come. It involved Sara Netanyahu’s misuse of public funds for the benefit of their private residence, an opulent villa in Caesarea. A former manager of the residence opened a civil case against the family for purchasing furniture with public funds that was meant for the PM’s public residence (in Jerusalem), but ended up in the villa. Also, the Netanyahus were supposed to bid-out electrical contracting work through a public process. Instead, they arranged for their preferred contractor, who had no right to get the job, to do the work. The job was far over what the budget would allow, therefore Sara circumvented it in order to secure the electrician she wanted. It didn’t hurt that he was also politically well-connected to the Netanyahu family.
A few months ago, the prime minister was in the process of naming a national police chief. Several candidates fell out of the running due to various scandals (a common fate of candidates for top jobs) and the job remained embarrassingly vacant. Bibi thought he might kill two birds with one stone, so he summoned his loyal henchman, Gil Erdan, minister of public security and the civilian boss of the police force and told him, like a mafia don orders one of his capos, to run an errand for him: tell the commander directing the villa case that in return for dropping it he’d get the top police job. The officer offered the bribe wisely didn’t take the offer, nor did he get the job. He preferred investigating corruption rather than perpetrating it.
Instead, the police chief position was given to Roni Alsheikh, a man who’d never served a day as a policeman (he was a former deputy chief of the Shin Bet). In the accompanying picture, Alsheikh looks like the cat that swallowed the Palestinian canary!
Libel laws in Israel are quite sweeping. Oren wisely didn’t name Erdan in his column. Instead, he gave enough hints that any half-sensible person could figure it out. Another Haaretz correspondent, Barak Ravid, did spell it out in this tweet. Erdan himself was not amused. In the tweet displayed here he alludes to the charge against him being slander. But doesn’t threaten a lawsuit. I tried to goad him a bit by tweeting a question about whether he’d file a lawsuit against Oren or Ravid. I also noted that if he didn’t we might be tempted to believe the charges against him are true.
It’s interesting that the commander who was offered the bribe could’ve charged Erdan with a criminal act. But can you imagine how he could charge his own boss with a felony? This is yet more evidence that in Israel the criminals run the prison and the inmates run the asylum. It goes far beyond not being able to tell the good guys from the bad. There are no good guys in this regime. They’re all different magnitudes of bad.
Another senior minister, Aryeh Deri, is currently under criminal investigation for owning tens of millions of dollars worth of real estate with no visible means to do so.
Speaking of Erdan, he was one of the ministers who spoke (thanks to Ronnie Barkan for the video and English translation) at the Yediot Achronot anti-BDS conference. Other government officials preceding him had offered fiery headlines threatening Omar Barghouti with civil assassination; and stripping his Israeli residency. Erdan was almost demur by comparison. All he would say is that Israel was mobilizing its full intelligence presence to monitor and even sabotage BDS activities; and that its activists would “pay the price” for threatening the existence of the State. He hastened to add he wasn’t calling for physical harm, God forbid. But the mere reference to physical harm was enough of a hint of what Israeli is capable, should it put its mind to it.
I’ve said here before and I’ll say it now. Israel or one of its goon-toadies is going to take a pot-shot at Barghouti one of these days. Mark my words. We in the activist community should prepare for such an eventuality. If they dare, they must know that the Hague will await them. If not now, then soon and in our days, as the Jewish tradition says.