Netanyahu and Son Investigated for Using False Passport, Money Laundering Via Panama Account
Winston Churchill said after one of the earliest Allied victories during WWII: this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end. Rather it’s the end of the beginning. I think we’re more advanced in the case of Netanyahu. We may have just entered the beginning of the end of his seemingly endless reign over Israeli politics.
Israeli social media has lit up with news of a new investigation of Bibi Netanyahu, his son Yair, and the PMO’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow. This story has not yet been reported by an Israeli mainstream publication and I don’t have an inside reliable source to confirm it, as I usually do when I post these stories. So what I’m reporting is based on what readers are sending me and what’s posted at Israeli social media sites. Despite not being able to affirm with certainty the reliability of the reports, they are important enough, and repeated enough for me to believe that there is a “there” there, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein.
Netanyahu, according to this account, requested the Mossad provide his son with a false passport so that his security would be protected on overseas trips. But an account in the fictitious name of his passport was identified among the Panama Papers. Lots of money passed through this account. I’ve heard figures from $500,000 up to several million dollars. On the strength of the funds in this account, Yair is suspected of money laundering, possibly in order to avoid taxes or for another motive. According to one source, the guiding light behind the plan was Sara Netanyahu.
Ari Harow’s case has been reported: when he was the chief fundraiser for American Friends of the Likud, he met a New York pediatrician named Victor Deutsch. Harow sold his political consulting company, 3GH Global, to Deutsch for $3-million. The new buyer was supposed to make regular payments as part of the purchase agreement. He made a few payments then, according to Harow he stopped. At that point, Harow claims he took back his company from the purchaser. Investigators are trying to track those payments, whether there were others that weren’t recorded, and where all the money went. Some are speculating it went into Bibi’s pocket or into funding the Likud’s last election campaign. It also seems odd that a medical doctor would buy a political consulting company, and the price paid also seems suspiciously high considering Harow’s company had very few clients.
On the corporate website, it mentions only two clients: the former rightist Spanish prime minister, Jose Anzar and Paraguay’s newly elected president. Harow pimped for the Friends of Israel (FOI) initiative. This is a propaganda project involving Aznar, Richard Kemp, David Trimble, John Bolton & other well-paid pro-Israel advocates. Among other things, they promoted Israel’s killing machine in Gaza after the Mavi Marmara incident. Harow’s contract to promote their work further cements the reputation of FOI as a creature of official Israeli hasbara.
Times of Israel reports that investigators are considering offering Harow immunity if he will testify against his former boss, the prime minister. That would be quite a sight!
I also continue to hear rumors reported by several Israeli bloggers that the Likud engineered a massive electoral fraud which involved 300,000 excess “voters” casting ballots in the final two hours of the 2015 national election, which added 8 seats to Likud’s tally and made the difference between a Likud-led coalition and a Labor-led coalition. As Likud campaign manager during the past two elections, Harow may have some interesting stories to tell.
The State attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit and the special corruption unit of the national police are deep into a complex investigation of these matters. At this point, one can’t say whether all this will blow over as it always has for Netanyahu in the past when he’s faced similar charges; or whether this will transform itself into a career-threatening scandal. I recall a similar process which brought down Ehud Olmert, a few years ago. There were rumors of his past corrupt dealings which gradually morphed into full-scale investigations. No sooner did one scandal appear to fade than a new one rose to take its place. Soon, the drumbeat of corrupt deals and pay-offs grew into a roar that could no longer be avoided. It took quite some time, I recall around two years, before Olmert was finally forced to resign. Now he sits in prison. I have little doubt that’s where Bibi will sit one day, a forlorn, badly dressed convict, as Olmert now is. But this won’t happen overnight.
The same pattern is repeating itself. The scandals come in rapid succession. They grow increasingly serious. The cries of consternation from political allies and average Israelis grow stronger with each new one. The thought that Bibi could resign turns from a distant-possibility to a near certainty. All this happened in Olmert’s case as well.
Expect some interesting political positioning in the ruling coalition. Soon we’ll see the Night of the Long Knives with aspirants for, or pretenders to the throne maneuvering for advantage. I anticipate the first blow will be struck by Pres. Reuven Rivlin, who’s been shunned and belittled by Netanyahu for years. Wait for a statement from Rivlin expressing criticism of corruption in high places (no names, of course). Once you hear this it will only be a matter of time before every other rightist politician who’s ever crossed swords with Bibi (Bennett, Lieberman, Yaalon, Kahlon, Danon, etc.) to sharpen their blades and prepare for the succession fight.
As I’ve written here before, no one should fool themselves that Bibi’s demise will change anything fundamentally in Israeli politics. Corruption will remain endemic. The Likud will remain in power. The next prime minister may have a better smile, he may be slightly more upright or careful, or may have more rapport with the people. But his policies will be little different than Netanyahu’s. So don’t make the mistake of thinking with Bibi finally gone Israel can turn a page and start afresh. This book will never end until someone from outside Israel takes it upon themselves to bring it to a close. And that will not happen any time soon.
28 thoughts on “Netanyahu and Son Investigated for Using False Passport, Money Laundering Via Panama Account – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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על זה אמר הגשש “קחו לדוגמא את אישתי, קחו אותה ממני”.
Not sure what right has “someone from outside Israel takes it upon themselves to bring it to a close”. Aren’t you against int’l involvement in Syria?
@ dave: And what makes you think it would require an Israeli civil war like in Syria to force Israel to behave like the rest of the nations? Not to mention, which parties would enter this conflict to defend Israel’s Occupation & established order? If Israel resisted international pressure, all that would be necessary would be a massive international sanctions regime to force Israel to its senses. Ban all Israelis from European or Asian vacations and stop the import of all the goodies Israelis love. Shut off Israel from the outside world to the extent possible. That would do the trick.
Bar all Israelis from vacations shut Israel from the world…
Tell us again how you think the Gaza blockade is unfair.
@oneisraeli: Tell me which country Gaza has been occupying for five decades and which nation’s land it’s been stealing for as long? when you identify them we can talk about boycotting Gaza.
Hahaha! That was very good, Richard!
Hamas, the government of Gaza, has been sitting in land that was taken from Egypt – so if they were all about “returning land to its owners” they should talk among themselves..
Your strawman aside, it’s good to see you have no logical retort. You push for a boycott and isolation of Israel while crying the “horrors” of the boycott of Gaza.
Slow clap there, Richard. Well done, old boy, you get an A+ in internal logic.
@ Oneisraeli: Israel offered to return Gaza to Egypt & it declined Israel’s generous offer. Further, Israel conquered Gaza, stealing it from Egypt. So now you’re going to start a campaign to return it to Egypt when your country was the one that wrested it from Egypt in the first place? Now that’s CHUTZPAH!!
Gee, if only Egypt hadn’t thrown a casus beli by closing the Tiran Straits and removing the UN, or the Operation Dawn plan, eh? But I guess that falls away from your “narrative”.
Still, in your strawman building and feigned surprise, you did not answer how your clear call for BDS and beyond is different from what you think Gaza is going through. I’d appreciate a clear answer.
70% of the people of Gaza descend from population that was ethnically cleansed from what is now Israel by gallant Jewish militia. They did not end up there voluntarily. Yet you want to blame them for sitting on land that belongs to Egypt?
You should hang your head in shame.
Thank you Elizabeth and thanks to Mr Silverstein for his courageous article. Respect.
“Hamas, the government of Gaza, has been sitting in land that was taken from Egypt – so if they were all about “returning land to its owners” they should talk among themselves..”
The key word in that ignorant nonsense is “owners”.
Egypt seized the Gaza Strip in 1949, no question, but at no time – then or now, or at any time in between – did the Egyptians ever claim that their seizure of that territory meant that they then “owned” that strip of land.
Egypt held that territory under a belligerent occupation I.e. it was an “occupying power”.
They acknowledged that as the indisputable fact that it was, and so when the IDF seized the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian Army in 1967 all that happened was that one occupying power was replaced by another military occupier.
Nothing more, no less.
The “owners” of that territory were always the Palestinians, precisely because neither Egypt nor Israel could point to any document of any sort that so much as hinted that either of them had any ownership rights to that territory.
Honestly, hasbarists really do write the most ludicrous nonsense…..
The owners of that land have “always been the Palestinians”?
Then you should have no problem telling us the name of the last Palestinian administrator of it. I’ll be waiting.
@oneIsraeli: Warning to others: don’t feed this Zio-troll. This is the sort of Gotcha game I hate. Don’t play it & don’t encourage dare anyone else to either.
So…no answer then?
Richard, you’re entitled to your own opinion/narrative, but not to your own facts. The fact is that Gaza was Ottoman, British, Egyptian, Israeli and now it is Palestinian. Childish name-calling won’t alter those documented historic facts.
” On the strength of the funds in this account, Yair is suspected of money laundering, possibly in order to avoid taxes or for another motive.”
Possibly. Or maybe he was given a fake passport that had already been used for a nefarious purpose and that Yair is totally innocent.
@ Trapper Joe: Oh yeah. Mossad is gonna give the PM’s son a used fake passport so that Interpol or some other agency will flag it & arrest him. At least attempt to make your hasbara faintly credible. As for Yair being innocent. It could be that Sara is behind this whole show. I don’t know. She may’ve put Yair up to it & he may’ve been a willing patsy. I’d like to believe a young kid doesn’t yet have the larceny gene which his mom & dad possess in abundance. But who knows?
It’s really very simple. One only has to compare the date the kid began using the passport with the date the passport was used to open the Panama Papers account.
My feeling is that Yair is an innocent, and that this investigation will go nowhere.
Meet the 3H Global team
Worked closely with political figures who brought us the Iraq War – see Chilcot’s report.
“In my opinion the actions taken by the IDF were necessary to defend the people of Israel from the ongoing, intensive and lethal attacks by Hamas and other groups in Gaza. It is the inalienable duty of every government to use its armed forces to protect its citizens and its terrain from external attack.
“In this case there was a sustained assault on the Israeli population from rockets and mortar bombs; attacks on Israeli military posts using tunnels; apparent plans to launch further attacks on Israeli military posts and on civilian settlements also using tunnels; and attempted attacks from the sea.
“As the Gaza Strip is effectively a separate state, outside of Israeli control, these actions amounted to an attack by a foreign country against Israeli territory. In these circumstances I know of no other realistic and effective means of suppressing an aggressor’s missile fire than the methods used by the IDF, namely precision air and artillery strikes against the command and control structures, the fighters and the munitions of Hamas and the other groups in Gaza. Nor have I heard any other military expert from any country propose a viable alternative means of defence against such aggression.”
[Source: Richard Kemp in Submission to the U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict]
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Well if policy will change, you’ll be out of work, what will you do without slandering the state of Israel?
@ Kobi: Thanks for the laugh!!
As for being “out of work,” don’t worry about me. I can always go back to writing about world music and food. But chances of Israel righting itself any time soon are about 1 in 10-million. Which leaves me plenty to write about for the foreseeable future.
As for “slandering” Israel, you don’t know the meaning of the word if you accuse me of it. You’re a pathetic Zio-troll.
Everyone know he’s a con artist
He has to go to jail
Many on the Israeli right will be ecstatic if Bibi falls – especially if it doesn’t involve an election loss. Bibi has been holding on not due to a hold on the right-wing elites, but rather by the ability to turn out of the vote and by containing all internal right-wing opposition (whenever a potential challenger emerges – he’s been relegated to……..).
Ya’alon will be kicking himself for resigning as an MK (a prerequisite for being PM) if this moves forward to an indictment – if this happens not too close to the elections, a Likud MK (or in some less likely scenarios a different MK) would be appointed.
If I was in Bibi’s place right now I’d make a run for it ASAP. “Take the money and run” style.
I assume he’ll try to shelter in one of Adelson’s casino hotels or one of Mimran’s soldiers will locate a safe house for him. Or else he’ll spirit away in one of the German-Israelized submarines and secretly touch land on some desolate Argentinean shore.
You guys are hilarious.
Such a load of imaginary crap..
So many inaccuracies and conspiratorial bs…
And all for the sake of bashing Israel. I’d be ashamed if I’d cared that you’re supposedly part of my people.
BTW, 3H has many more clients than what’s up on their website (I know if for a fact), it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a political consulting company keeps it full client list confidential. But I guess a moron would have a hard time comprehending that, either a moron or just an extremely biased person.
@ Niro: And welcome to Ari Harow’s friends, cronies & acolytes. As for Harow’s firm’s clients, he may have a few more but someone like him who flaunts pictures of Bibi all over his site, would certainly say who his biggest, most important clients are on his site in order to boast of his clout. The fact that there are 3 second-rate clients listed indicates what a flop his company is.
The Israeli media seem to agree with me and note that paying $3=million for the company of Bibi’s former scheduler seemed outrageous to the police as well.
As for who’s a moron or biased person, we’ll see about that. Get back to me in a year. If Bibi’s still in power, then we can talk. If not, the fool’s on you.
Is this case 2000 ? Or is that something else ?
There are two cases: 1000 and 2000. I believe they are different than this one. But not certain.