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Netanyahu scandals reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of being brought down, possibly soon, over what initially appears to be little more than an imprudent taste for Cuban cigars and pink champagne.

In truth, however, the allegations ensnaring Netanyahu reveal far more than his personal flaws or an infatuation with the high life. They shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between Israel’s business, political and media worlds, compounded by the perverse influence of overseas Jewish money.

Of the two police investigations Netanyahu faces (there are more in the wings), the one known as Case 1000, concerning gifts from businessmen worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, is most likely to lead to his downfall.

But it is the second investigation, Case 2000, and the still-murky relationship between the two cases, that more fully exposes the rot at the heart of Israel’s political system. This latter case hinges on a tape recording in which Netanyahu plots with an Israeli newspaper tycoon to rig media coverage in his favor.

Leads from both cases suggest that Netanyahu may have been further meddling, together with his billionaire friends, in the shadowy world of international espionage.

Cigars and champagne

Netanyahu’s appetite for a free lunch has been common knowledge in Israel since his first term as prime minister in the late 1990s. Then, he was twice investigated for fraud, though controversially charges were not brought in either case. Police discovered along the way that he and his wife, Sara, had horded many of the gifts he received during state visits. More than 100 were never recovered.

The clarifications that were issued more than 15 years ago, as a result of those investigations, make it hard for Netanyahu to claim now that he did not understand the rules. According to justice ministry advice in 2001, government and state officials cannot keep gifts worth more than $100 without risking violating Israeli law.

The gifts Netanyahu received from one of the Israeli businessmen involved in Case 1000, Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan, amounted to as much as $180,000. Netanyahu has argued that these presents, ranging from cigars to jewelry, were expressions of a close friendship rather than bribes to him in his capacity as prime minister.

The problem, however, is that Netanyahu appears to have reciprocated by using his position as head of the Israeli government to lobby John Kerry, the then U.S. secretary of state, to gain Milchan a 10-year U.S. residency visa. He may have done more. We will return to that matter later.

Also being investigated are his family’s ties to a friend of Milchan’s, Australian billionaire James Packer, who made his fortune in the media and gambling industries. Packer has similarly lavished gifts on the Netanyahu family, especially Yair, Netanyahu’s eldest son.

At the same time, Packer, now a neighbor of the Netanyahus in the coastal town of Caesarea, has been seeking permanent residency and the enormous benefits that would accrue with tax status in Israel. As a non-Jew, Packer should have no hope of being awarded residency. There are suspicions that Netanyahu may have been trying to pull strings on the Australian’s behalf.

Many of these gifts were apparently not given freely. The Netanyahus asked for them. Indicating that Netanyahu knew there might be legal concerns, he used code words – “leaves” for cigars and “pinks” for champagne – to disguise his orders to Milchan.

Police are reported to be confident, after questioning Netanyahu three times, that they have enough evidence to indict him. If they do, Netanyahu will be under heavy pressure to resign.

Pattern of corruption

Disturbing as these allegations of corruption are, Case 2000 indicates that this is about more than one prime minister’s dubious ties to wealthy patrons.

David Ansalem, a political ally of Netanyahu’s, observed on Facebook recently: “In the past 30 years, no prime minister was free from involvement in [police] investigations.”

Ansalem was suggesting that Israeli bribery and fraud laws are too strict, and can easily catch out an unwary politician. But the reverse is more likely to be true: politicians are rapidly corrupted by their pursuit of power in Israel. In short, the corruption in Israel is institutionalized.

Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was similarly the subject of several different investigations, and is currently serving a jail term for fraud over his involvement in a massive real estate deal when mayor of Jerusalem. He was also convicted of receiving cash in envelopes from a U.S. businessman, Morris Talansky, in return for political favors.

Before Olmert, Ariel Sharon was at the centre of many investigations of dubious financial connections with businessmen, including Israeli real estate magnate David Appel and the British Jewish businessman Cyril Kern. Sharon fell into a long-term coma, and later died, before the investigations could lead to an indictment.

This week a corruption investigation against Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader, was dropped, though inconsistencies in his testimony were sharply criticised by Israel’s attorney general. The investigation led to the indictment of Herzog’s campaign manager and a businessman.

Also this week, a former chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to for three and half years.

20 super-rich families

Corruption is rampant in part because of Israel’s extreme concentration of wealth. This is a trend in much of the developed world, but its effects are accentuated in Israel by the small scale of the economy. Research shows that as few as 20 families control most of the country’s wealth, particularly in sectors like real estate, banking, retail, transport and homeland security. It seems some of these super-rich families expect to buy political influence as well.

But there is also a combination of conditions, particular to Israel, that blur the distinctions between the personal and institutional, and that have ensured corruption flourishes.

The climate was probably set in 1948, when Israel was established on the ruins of another society. The building by Israel’s elites of a new, supposedly more equal society in the agricultural communities of the kibbutz and moshav was possible only through the wholesale theft of Palestinian land and homes. The Absentee Property Law of 1950 sanctioned an orgy of plundering by Israel’s upper and middle classes. That foundational culture is hard to eradicate.

Further, Israel’s highly militarised society discourages resistance to authoritarian practices. A 2014 survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, for example, found that only one in three Israeli Jews regarded Israel’s democratic character as supremely important.

This trend is reinforced by the sanctity of Israel’s security sector, which includes not only the military, but the many intelligence services, including the Mossad spy agency, Israel’s arms manufacturers, homeland security and cyber warfare firms, as well as more conventional industries.

Trust in the Israeli military stands at 90 per cent, and half of the Jewish public believe the security services should be allowed to operate against terror without any legal oversight, according to a survey last year. The secrecy surrounding this sector – and the expansive definition in Israel of “terrorism” – inculcates a consensus in favor of concealment and a set of values in which corruption is likely to thrive.

Safeguards are further undermined by Israel’s fractured social structure – religious vs. secular, Ashkenazim vs. Mizrahim, veterans vs. immigrants, liberals vs. settlers. The resulting tribalism creates oppositional interest groups seeking favors and patronage rather than accountability and transparency.

Corruption is especially flagrant in land dealings, both in Israel and the occupied territories. In the Negev, in Israel’s south, for example, vast stretches of territory have been seized, often from Bedouin owners who are nominally citzens of the state, and reallocated as private ranches to Jewish families in a non-transparent planning process.

The institutionalization of corruption is evident in the behavior of leading officials, especially in the field of law enforcement. The police chief, Roni Alsheikh, and a supreme court judge, Noam Sohlberg, both have long records of lawbreaking, by living in settlements in the occupied territories in violation of international law.

Even more glaring is the fact that Avi Cohen, the government official in charge of monitoring and enforcing planning laws in Israel, chiefly against Palestinian citizens, lives in the West Bank settlement “outpost” of Palgei Mayim, which is in violation of Israeli law too.

The shadow economy

But the reach of Israeli corruption is global.

As a self-declared Jewish state, one that formally regards every Jew in the world as being personally invested in Israel, a network of personal and financial ties that are intentionally opaque has developed between Israeli businesses and officials, on the one hand, and overseas Jewish organisations, donors, investors and criminals, on the other.

Israeli authorities are aware that criminal gangs with international connections, often in the former Soviet Union, recycle their money in the Israeli economy, often laundering it in real estate purchases. A leaked U.S. embassy cable in 2009 warned that Israel was in danger of becoming a “promised land” for organised crime.

The Haaretz newspaper observed recently that this underground economy had become so big – with an annual turnover reaching as much $39 billion – Israel could find itself on the same list as Iran as “one of the leading state financiers of global terrorism”.

Some of this shadow economy is authorised at the highest levels. Israel confers privileged status on international Zionist organisations like the Jewish National Fund and World Zionist Organisation that funnel in donations from Jews around the world. These “charitable” organisations enjoy semi-governmental status, even though they can operate outside Israel’s laws.

The WZO setttlement division, for example, secretly pumps money into illegal settlements in the West Bank, hiding the money even from Israel’s state auditors. Funds are moved around out of sight, leaving plenty of room for corruption among officials, in addition to the inherent illegality of the settlement enterprise.

And then there are the Jewish tycoons from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia who treat Israel as part of their philanthropic investment portfolio. Their reasons include ideological zeal to realise a Greater Israel, salving their consciences for not living in Israel, or extending their influence to the “safe haven” they or their family may need in times of trouble.

Most Israeli politicians rely on overseas Jewish funders. Netanyahu won his Likud party’s primaries in 2014 exclusively with the help of foreign donors, all but one of them American.

Personifying this unhealthy external interference in Israeli politics is Sheldon Adelson, the U.S. casino magnate who is Netanyahu’s main patron. Adelson has done much more than channel donations to Netanyahu’s campaign coffers. He created a newspaper to get Netanyahu elected and keep him in office.

The free daily Israel Hayom, founded 10 years ago, is now the biggest-circulation paper in Israel and is known locally as Bibi-ton, or Bibi’s newspaper, in reference to Netanyahu’s nickname. A recent investigation by Haaretz found that Adelson had sunk an astronomic sum into Israel Hayom – some $190 million in its first seven years alone – to keep it afloat.

At the same time, Adelson has been sponsoring Republican politicians, including the new occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, to ensure he has an outsize influence in the U.S. as well. Trump’s sudden conversion to Netanyahu’s pro-settlement agenda coincided with his need for Adelson’s support in the presidential campaign.

War against the media

Adelson and his Israel Hayom newspaper are at the heart of Netanyahu’s current troubles. The tapes in Case 2000 are audio recordings of conversations between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, the Israeli owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth media group, which includes the country’s largest paid-for newspaper. Mozes’ desperate need to save his business empire appears to have driven him into Netanyahu’s embrace.

Adelson and Netanyahu’s aim in establishing Israel Hayom in 2007 was not only to create a propaganda platform for Netanyahu. It was also intended to drive rival papers, especially Yedioth Ahronoth, out of business by forcing down their income from advertising revenue. U.S. businessman Adelson’s pockets are much deeper than those of Israeli businessman Mozes.

This was effectively a vendetta by Netanyahu and Adelson against Mozes for using his media empire, which once enjoyed near-monopoly status in Israel, to damage Netanyahu and support rival politicians. Yair Lapid, a former columnist at Yedioth, is today leader of the Yesh Atid party, a potential challenger to Netanyahu for prime minister. He has in the past received strong backing from his former paper.

In the tapes, Mozes and Netanyahu discuss a deal that would guarantee the Yedioth media group cheerlead for Netanyahu in return for his government passing legislation to limit Israel Hayom’s circulation and possibly force it to charge a cover price. The pair appear to have broken off contacts some time before Israel’s general election in March 2015.

Had the talks succeeded, Netanyahu would have enjoyed almost blanket support in the mainstream press. The holdout would have been the liberal, and very small-circulation, Haaretz daily.

Netanyahu was not prepared to rest there, however. After the 2015 election he appointed himself the communications minister so that he would have regulatory power over Israel’s broadcasters. Since then he has been waging a concerted battle to intimidate Israel’s two commercial TV stations, Channels 2 and 10. Even after the latest revelations, he remains in charge of the communications ministry.

From Hollywood to Mossad

Cases 1000 and 2000 share at least one figure in common. Milchan gave Netanyahu extravagant gifts over many years, but he is also reported to have acted as go-between, bringing arch-enemies Netanyahu and Mozes together. Milchan has his own financial stake in the media, in his case a holding in the Channel 10 TV station.

In addition, Milchan introduced Netanyahu to sympathetic businessmen, including his friend Packer, to discuss taking the ailing Yedioth media group off Mozes’ hands. Only last October he arranged for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan, to fly to Israel for one night for a secret meeting with Netanyahu.

Milchan is undoubtedly at the centre of the shadowy world of power and finance that corrupts public life in Israel. Not only is Milchan a highly influential Hollywood figure, having produced more than 100 films, but he has admitted that he is a former Mossad agent. He used his Hollywood connections to help make arms deals and secure parts for Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

One can only wonder whether Milchan was not effectively set up in his Hollywood career as a cover for his Mossad activities.

But Milchan, it seems, is still wielding influence in Israel’s twilight world of security.

Yossi Cohen was appointed head of the Mossad a year ago, after a government vetting committee accepted that he had no personal ties to Netanyahu. But Cohen forgot to mention that he is extremely close to Netanyahu’s high-flying friends – connections that are now under investigation.

Milchan set up a global security firm in 2008 called Blue Sky International, stuffed with Israeli security veterans. Packer soon became a partner. They developed close ties to Cohen, first while he was a senior official at the Mossad and later when he headed Israel’s national security council.

Before Cohen was appointed head of Mossad in December 2015, the pair had hoped to recruit him to their cyber-security operations. Cohen received several gifts from Packer, in violation of Israeli government rules, including a stay at one of his luxury hotels.

A source speaking to Haaretz said Blue Sky had “more than [a] direct line” to Netanyahu. They “would pull him out from anywhere, at any time, on any occasion.”

According to Haaretz’s military analyst, Amir Oren, the new disclosures raise serious questions about whether Milchan and Packer twisted Netanyahu’s arm to parachute Cohen into the post over the favored candidate. In return, Packer may have been hoping that Cohen would authorise exceptional Israeli residency for him, classifying him as a security asset.

Beyond this, one one can only speculate about how Cohen’s indebtedness to Milchan, Packer and Netanyahu might have influenced his decisions as head of the Mossad. It was only a few years ago that the former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, was reported to have wrestled furiously with Netanyahu to stop him launching a military strike on Iran.

Prosecution drags feet

It is unclear for the time being whether the revelations are drawing to a close or will lead deeper into Israel’s twin netherworlds of financial corruption and security.

But what has emerged so far should be enough to finish off Netanyahu as prime minister. Whether it does so may depend on the extent of Israel’s compromised legal system. Attorney general Avichai Mendelblit was appointed by Netanyahu and is a political ally. He appears to have been dragging his feet as much as possible to slow down the police investigation, if not sabotage it.

But the weight of evidence is looking like it may prove too overwhelming. As political analyst Yossi Verter observed: “There’s no way that a police commissioner … appointed [by Netanyahu] and a cautious attorney general, who in the past was part of his close circle and one of his loyalists, would be putting him through the seven circles of hell if they weren’t convinced that there’s a solid basis for indictment and conviction.”

The next question for Netanyahu is whether he will step down if indicted. He should, if Olmert’s example is followed. But his officials are citing a 1993 high court ruling that allows a cabinet minister under indictment to remain in office. Certainly if Netanyahu chooses to stay on, his decision would be appealed to the court again. However, the judges may be reluctant to oust a sitting prime minister.

The court of public opinion is likely to be decisive in that regard. A recent poll shows few Israelis believe Netanyahu is innocent of the allegations. Some 54 per cent think he broke the law, while only 28 believe him. Opinion, however, is split evenly on whether he should resign.

Where next?

If past experience is any measure, Netanyahu will try to turn public opinion his way by increasing friction with the Palestinians and exploiting the international arena, especially his relations with the Trump administration. He may be expected to encourage Trump at the very least to posture more stridently against Iran.

Nonetheless, most observers assume Netanyahu is doomed – it is simply a matter of when. The odds are on an indictment in late spring, followed by elections in the fall, say Israeli analysts.

At this stage, none of his political rivals wants to be seen stabbing Netanyahu in the back. Most are keeping quiet. But behind the scenes, political leaders are hurrying to forge new alliances and extract political concessions while Netanyahu is wounded.

Naftali Bennett, the settler leader, is pushing aggressively for annexation of Ma’ale Adumim, a large settlement strategically located close to Jerusalem, as a prelude to further annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Who might succeed Netanyahu? Yair Lapid, of the centre-right Yesh Atid, is heading the polls, but that may in part reflect the disarray in Netanyahu’s Likud party. In a sign of where the deeper currents in Israeli society are leading, a Maariv poll last week showed that settler leader Naftali Bennett would win an election if he were to head the Likud.

Netanyahu now needs the help of all the powerful friends he can muster. His biggest ally, U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, may not be among them. After the revelations that Netanyahu was conspiring against him with Mozes, Adelson has cut back on Israel Hayom’s circulation and is reported to be offering less favorable coverage of the Netanyahus.

That could prove the final straw, sealing Netanyahu’s fate.

Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is

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23 Responses

  1. mcohen. on February 3, 2017, 2:32 pm

    Israel corrupt.who would have thought.i wondered why so many politicians and rabbi,s are jailed……unlike so many other countries where they still walk least in Israel the legal system works.

    Money so they say is the root of all evil today
    Think I going to write a Netanyahu hit piece anyway

    • JWalters on February 3, 2017, 6:06 pm

      “Israel corrupt. who would have thought.”

      I know what you mean. This picture is entirely consistent with the suppressed history of Israel as the project of a corrupt oligarchy – an oligarchy masked as a theocracy masked as a democracy. For readers who haven’t seen it, this history is briefly described online in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

      These legal actions reinforce the recent lawsuit filed against Netanyahu et. al. for terrorism, under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorist Act, passed by Congress last year to strip Saudi Arabian government officials of their immunity so that they can be sued by 9/11 families. Excellent summary here:

  2. JLewisDickerson on February 3, 2017, 3:53 pm

    RE: “Netanyahu has argued that these presents, ranging from cigars to jewelry, were expressions of a close friendship rather than bribes to him in his capacity as prime minister.” ~ Jonathan Cook

    MY COMMENT: Including my favourite, premium-quality, pink champagne [ ‘champagne’ being said in the manner of Christopher Walken as “The Continental” on SNL 30 or so years ago*].


    ■ P.S. Long live our Lord Protector Donald Trump! ! ! ~

    • JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2017, 1:40 am

      RE: “Long live our Lord Protector Donald Trump! ! !”

      ALASTAIR CROOKE on 2/11/17:

      (EXCERPT) . . . Trump’s style of mercantilist politics – though novel in our era – is not new. It has occurred before, and in its earlier setting led to profound geo-political consequences. It led then to war and ultimately to the emergence of a new geo-political order.

      That is not necessarily to say that the same will occur today, but on Sept. 17, 1656, Oliver Cromwell, a Protestant puritan who had fought a civil war in England against its Establishment and its élite and who had deposed and then executed the reigning king, addressed his revolutionary parliamentarians in Westminster by posing the question: Who are our enemies? There was, he answered to the gathered parliamentarians, an alignment of “wicked men” in the world led by a powerful state – Catholic Spain with the Pope at its head. The “enmity” that Cromwell’s countrymen faced was, at its root, the evil of a religion – Catholicism – that “refused the Englishman’s desire for simple liberties … that put men under restraint … [and] under which there was no freedom.” . . .


      P.S. EXUBERANT SELF-TALK: Damn, I had no idea what a genius I am! I’m a genius! I’m a genius! I’m a f’ing genius!

      BACK TO EARTH: No, John. No! More likely, you just got lucky.

      For once in your life.

      • JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2017, 1:51 am

        the act or practice of talking to oneself, either aloud or silently and mentally: positive self-talk

        People also ask:

        ● What is the self talk?
        Self-talk can have a great impact on your confidence. It can be positive or negative, and have different effects on how you feel. There are a few ways you can develop better self-talk, which can be as simple as listening to what you’re saying to yourself each day.

        ● Is self talk normal?
        Talking to yourself is universal. It’s so common that it has a name: private speech. Most research on private speech is done with kids aged 2 to 7, among whom private speech is a part of normal development. Private speech is kids’ external version of thought — truly thinking out loud.

        ● What is a self dialogue?
        The dialogical self is a psychological concept which describes the mind’s ability to imagine the different positions of participants in an internal dialogue, in close connection with external dialogue.

        Dialogical self – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        LINK –

      • JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2017, 2:10 am

        P.P.S. When in doubt (i.e., experiencing self-doubt), blame it on the Pinot Grigiot. That’s what Stuart Smalley would do!

      • JLewisDickerson on February 12, 2017, 4:49 am

        Dialogical self
        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –

        [EXCERPT] The dialogical self is a psychological concept which describes the mind’s ability to imagine the different positions of participants in an internal dialogue, in close connection with external dialogue. The “dialogical self” is the central concept in the Dialogical Self Theory (DST), as created and developed by the Dutch psychologist Hubert Hermans since the 1990s.


        Dialogical Self Theory (DST) weaves two concepts, self and dialogue, together in such a way that a more profound understanding of the interconnection of self and society is achieved. Usually, the concept of self refers to something “internal,” something that takes place within the mind of the individual person, while dialogue is typically associated with something “external,” that is, processes that take place between people involved in communication.

        The composite concept “dialogical self” goes beyond the self-other dichotomy by infusing the external to the internal and, in reverse, to introduce the internal into the external. As functioning as a “society of mind”,[1] the self is populated by a multiplicity of “self-positions” that have the possibility to entertain dialogical relationships with each other.

        In Dialogical Self Theory (DST) the self is considered as “extended,” that is, individuals and groups in the society at large are incorporated as positions in the mini-society of the self. As a result of this extension, the self does not only include internal positions (e.g., I as the son of my mother, I as a teacher, I as a lover of jazz), but also external positions (e.g., my father, my pupils, the groups to which I belong).

        Given the basic assumption of the extended self, the other is not simply outside the self but rather an intrinsic part of it. There is not only the actual other outside the self, but also the imagined other who is entrenched as the other-in-the-self. An important theoretical implication is that basic processes, like self-conflicts, self-criticism, self-agreements, and self-consultancy, are taking place in different domains in the self: within the internal domain (e.g., “As an enjoyer of life I disagree with myself as an ambitious worker”); between the internal and external (extended) domain (e.g., “I want to do this but the voice of my mother in myself criticizes me”) and within the external domain (e.g., “The way my colleagues interact with each other has led me to decide for another job”).

        As these examples show, there is not always a sharp separation between the inside of the self and the outside world, but rather a gradual transition.[2] DST assumes that the self as a society of mind is populated by internal and external self-positions. When some positions in the self silence or suppress other positions, monological relationships prevail. When, in contrast, positions are recognized and accepted in their differences and alterity (both within and between the internal and external domains of the self), dialogical relationships emerge with the possibility to further develop and renew the self and the other as central parts of the society at large.[3] . . .

  3. JLewisDickerson on February 3, 2017, 5:14 pm

    RE: “After the 2015 election he appointed himself the communications minister so that he would have regulatory power over Israel’s broadcasters. Since then he has been waging a concerted battle to intimidate Israel’s two commercial TV stations, Channels 2 and 10. Even after the latest revelations, he remains in charge of the communications ministry.” ~ Jonathan Cook

    OMG, I FEEL ANOTHER SNEEZE COMING ON: : “Ahhh . . . ahhh . . . Gleichschaltung!!!”*

    * SEE: “Who Will Save Israel” | by Uri Avnery | | May 23, 2015

    [EXCERPTS] The battle is over. The dust has settled. A new government – partly ridiculous, partly terrifying – has been installed. . .
    . . . Now the situation inside Israel proper is about to change drastically.
    Two facts attest to this.
    First of all, Ayelet Shaked has been appointed Minister of Justice.
    One of the most extreme right-wing Israelis, she has not made a secret of the fact that she wants to destroy the independence of the Supreme Court, the last bastion of human rights. . .
    . . . PERHAPS WORSE is Netanyahu’s decision to retain for himself the Ministry of Communication.
    This ministry has always been disdained as a low-level office, reserved for political lightweights. Netanyahu’s dogged insistence on retaining it for himself is ominous.
    The communication Ministry controls all TV stations, and indirectly newspapers and other media. Since all Israeli media are in very bad shape financially, this control may become deadly.
    Netanyahu’s patron – some say owner – Sheldon Adelson, the would-be dictator of the US Republican party, already publishes a give-away newspaper in Israel, which has only one sole aim: to support Netanyahu personally against all enemies, including his competitors in his own Likud party. The paper – “Israel Hayom” (Israel Today) – is already Israel’s widest-circulation newspaper, with the American casino king pouring into it untold millions.
    Netanyahu is determined to break all opposition in the electronic and written media. Opposition commentators are well advised to look for jobs elsewhere . . .
    . . . One cannot avoid an odious analogy. One of the key terms in the Nazi lexicon was the atrocious German word Gleichschaltung – meaning connecting all media to the same energy source [SEE: Gleichschaltung @ Wikipedia – J.L.D. ]. All newspapers and radio stations (TV did not yet exist) were staffed with Nazis. Every morning, a Propaganda Ministry official by the name of Dr. Dietrich convened the editors and told them what tomorrow’s headlines, editorials etc. were to be.
    Netanyahu has already dismissed the chief of the TV department. We don’t yet know the name of our own Dr. Dietrich. . .


  4. gingershot on February 3, 2017, 6:47 pm

    Hopefully the indictment(s) will come next week or before Feb 15 – Bibi is going to be gone to the US and then Australia and wonted be back until the end of Feb …

    If we can give Bibi a Indictment for a Faux Bon Voyage party that would be wonderful

    This is the perfect avenue by which to stuff the Iran War which Bibi and Trump’s Gang are trying to gin up with their summit. Larry Wilkerson says a false flag i a guarantee

    Trump is not going to meet with an indicted Prime Minister, and Bibi probably won’t be so eager to leave home turf anyway.

    On the other hand, if Trump offered Bibi and Sara ‘Mansion Arrest’ at Mar a Lago with all the Pinks and Leaves Bibi and Sara could stuff in their pie holes, that could be the bonzanza deal of the century – problem solved!

    ‘No Ban, No Wall, No War’ for Trump and the REST of the Israel Lobby

    Watch Bibi be toppled ….and all of it, including with Trump, will collapse

  5. on February 3, 2017, 9:03 pm

    What a friggin’ hellhole … left to their own devices — and look what happened. I’m sure more than a few Jews thought, back when the idea of an Israel was gaining steam: “Uh, guys … are we sure this is a good idea?”

    Netanyahu is going to pull out all the stops. They’re never going to indict him if Israel’s at war. Or America is.

    • DaBakr on February 3, 2017, 11:51 pm


      You have obviously never been to Israel or you wouldn’t use the idiotic reference to a “hell hole”

      Not only do Israeli Arabs prefer to live in Israel rather then ANY entity run by Palestinians but now,. new surveys have popped up claiming that large majorities of gulf Arab citizens would prefer to live in the ‘hell hole’ that is Israel rather then any of the paradise nations in the Arab world or in the ME.

      Nobody wants to move to Iran though one might think from reading the asinine comments here supporting the Iranian regime that it was some type of peace loving heaven rather then the supporter of assad, murderous IRG and its proxy Hezbollah who rules southern lebanon. Unless forced… Who would move to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt Lebanon Libya oman, Sudan, and most other regional me majority Muslim nations.
      . But then the “hellhole” not only has supported large influx of African immigrants who are Jewish Christian and Muslim but also had to deal with an equally large influx of refugees that were raised, educated and believe that Israel is an enemy nation and are only trying to take advantage of the economic advantages of refugees in Israel as opposed to say…. Egypt where they are sold, killed or worse.
      . So, if Israel is a hellhole in your mediocre minded opinion then where would be the great paradise in the ME where you believe life is worth more then a pittance, where all religions can pray freely at their own holy sites and where Arabs, Druze, Bedouin, Christian and Jew coexist as doctors, police, soldiers, judges, athletes teachers and even fishmongers. A figment of a warped and uneducated imagination.

      But you know the old fascist saying,.’ A far left wingers shithole is probably everybody elses paradise’. And don’t forget how many decades Israel’s decline has been anticipated by so many Zionist-haters when making predictions about the demise of Netanyahu. People have been counting him out for decades too. It’s like anticipating the demise of FDR in the 40s. Big whup. It’s not like his successor will be all that much different, wether right or left. And Israel will continue to be the sole regional praise for years to come. At least until there are direct 2party negotiations and a settlement of hostilities. I don’t know ANYBODY on the left who wants that.

      • on February 4, 2017, 9:11 am


      • DaBakr on February 5, 2017, 9:06 pm


        hellhole: no answer, no clue.

      • Marnie on February 6, 2017, 12:55 am

        Do you like the sound of shithole better? It works too!

      • JosephA on August 4, 2017, 11:50 pm

        I have been to Iran. It’s a beautiful, incredible country. I even visited synagogues there, the Jewish community is flourishing. I would go to Iran over Israel any day of the week.

      • Citizen on February 14, 2018, 6:25 pm

        For quite a few years now, as the Israeli press has stated, Israel has been a significant net loser in the race of immigrant Jews back and forth between the US and Israel.

  6. Kay24 on February 4, 2017, 2:19 am

    A well written article. It makes me wonder yet again how American leaders, politicians, the media, American Jews, and those who still act like this man is some kind of hero, and who keeps going with his narrative that Israel must be protected from the bad hombres around it, when in fact Israel is a violent occupier, who kills, steals, and does not heed the condemnation of the entire world. Congress even defied their own President to invite this liar to speak in Congress, and they applauded when he criticized Obama’s Iran deal. His family and he have shown dishonest tendencies from empty bottles belonging to the state being sold, to champagne and cigars, and little Yair being given lavish holidays by some billionaire for who knows what reason.

    The US should start getting wise by now, or do they have selective outrage when it comes to dictators and Prime Ministers who are being investigated for corruption and theft?

  7. JLewisDickerson on February 4, 2017, 2:23 am

    RE:“Not only is Milchan a highly influential Hollywood figure, having produced more than 100 films, but he has admitted that he is a former Mossad agent. He used his Hollywood connections to help make arms deals and secure parts for Israel’s nuclear weapons program.” ~ Jonathan Cook

    SEE: Israel’s Nuclear Triggers, by Grant Smith,, 3/20/12

    (excerpt) FBI files detailing Israel’s stealth acquisition of U.S. nuclear triggers were declassified and released on Dec. 28, 2011. The FBI’s secret Portland and Los Angeles inter-office communications were originally scheduled for release in the year 2036. Their availability today reveals how Israel’s elite spy networks acquire U.S. nuclear technologies while evading criminal and diplomatic consequences.

    A kryton is a gas-filled tube used as a high-speed switch. U.S. State Department munitions licenses are needed to export krytons because they can be used as triggers for nuclear weapons. California-based MILCO International Inc. shipped 15 orders totaling 800 krytons through an intermediary to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983. MILCO obtained the krytons from EG&G Inc. After the U.S. government rejected several requests for kryton export licenses to Israel, Arnon Milchan’s Heli Trading Company brokered the transactions with MILCO. Milchan is an Israeli movie producer who became successful in Hollywood for such movies as Brazil, JFK, and Pretty Woman.

    The FBI file reveals that after the illicit kryton exports were discovered, a U.S. attorney tried to flip MILCO President Richard Kelly Smyth to implicate Milchan during intense plea bargaining. The gambit failed, and in May 1984 Smyth was indicted on 30 counts of smuggling and making false statements. Smyth and his wife promptly fled to Israel and remained at large until captured in Malaga, Spain, in July 2001 after Richard Smyth applied for Social Security benefits. INTERPOL arrested Smyth and extradited him to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. In November 2001, Smyth was sentenced to 40 years in prison and fined $20,000, though he was freed within four years because of his advancing age. . .

    . . . Like the NUMEC case, the krytron caper benefited from flawed elite news coverage that today seems superficial if not suspicious. Among the final pages of the FBI’s file is a clipping of Thomas Friedman’s May 1985 New York Times interview with Milchan, who had suddenly decamped for Jerusalem after the Smyth indictments. Milchan said he had only recently learned “that a krytron was a small little gizmo which anyone can go buy freely in the United States. You can use them on all kinds of things, including, incidentally, making cholent.” Friedman clarified for readers that “Cholent is a stew of beans, carrots, potatoes and beef that is a traditional Jewish dish prepared on Friday night for eating on the Sabbath. Mr. Milchan said that with a krytron timer a stove could be set to turn on automatically to heat up cholent on the Sabbath without anyone working to light the fire. . .


    • JLewisDickerson on February 4, 2017, 4:07 am

      RE: Milchan said he had only recently learned “that a krytron was a small little gizmo which anyone can go buy freely in the United States. You can use them on all kinds of things, including, incidentally, making cholent.” ~ from above

      FROM BELOW: Krytrons are a highly specialized variety of cold cathode trigger tube. . . he Krytron is designed to switch moderately high impulse currents (up to around 3kA) and voltages (Up to around 5kV) in an arc discharge mode . . . Krytrons require a high voltage pulse (500V to 2kV) to be applied to the trigger electrode to fire successfully.

      “Pulse Power Switching Devices – An Overview” | By John Pasley | 24/9/96

      2.1 An Introduction to Cold Cathode Switching Tubes.

      Cold cathode trigger tubes are physically small devices designed to switch impulse currents and voltages of relatively small amplitude. Usually they are intended, as their name suggests, to trigger other larger devices. Typically cold cathode trigger tubes are designed to switch pulses of a few hundred volts and a few hundred milliamperes. Most trigger tubes have three or four electrodes, anode, cathode (+ve and -ve terminals respectively), a trigger/control electrode and sometimes a priming electrode.

      A trigger tube performs in a very simple manner akin to that of a triggered spark gap, excepting that usually the conduction is not by an arcing but glow discharge. The glow discharge is initiated when all of the following factors are present:

      i) A sufficiently high voltage is present across the device (between anode and cathode)

      ii) A trigger pulse of sufficient amplitude is present at the trigger electrode.

      iii) The gas in the tube is primed.

      Cold cathode trigger tubes rely upon some external or internal source to ionize the gas suitably for conduction to commence (This is called priming). This means that in theory some of these tubes will only switch a minute or so after the application of a suitable triggering voltage to the appropriate terminal of the device when some natural source of ionizing radiation ionizes the gas (forming a plasma) and hence causes conduction to commence. The triggering is basically random- it is subject to huge statistical variation even in apparently similar environments. . .

      2.2 The Krytron:

      Krytrons are a highly specialized variety of cold cathode trigger tube. They were one of the first products developed by the US based company EG&G. The Krytron has 4 electrodes, and is filled with a gas at low pressure. A Krytron is distinguished among cold cathode trigger tubes for a variety of reasons.

      The Krytron is designed to switch moderately high impulse currents (up to around 3kA) and voltages (Up to around 5kV) in an arc discharge mode, compare this with the usual glow discharge of the standard trigger tube. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the Krytron is able to turn on this arc discharge very rapidly, the reason being that it relies on an already present plasma to support the conduction, rather than waiting for the plasma to be formed as a result of priming etc. This plasma is created and sustained by a keep-alive current between the keep-alive electrode and the cathode of the device. When the trigger is applied under the conditions of a high anode to cathode voltage, this plasma forms an easy path for the main conduction between anode and cathode. The fact that a conduction path is already established prior to triggering makes a huge difference in the commutation time of these devices compared to standard cold cathode trigger tubes. . .

      . . . Krytrons typically come in a small glass envelope somewhat similar to a neon indicator bulb with more leads. Krytrons require a high voltage pulse (500V to 2kV) to be applied to the trigger electrode to fire successfully. This pulse is almost always generated by a pulse transformer fired by a capacitor discharge in the primary (rather like a simple strobe tube firing circuit). The krytron often has only a short life expectancy if used regularly (often as few as a couple of hundred shots) However when used within the appropriate parameters and well within the expected life time they are extremely reliable, requiring no warm up and being immune to many environmental factors to a large extent (e.g. vibration, temperature, acceleration).

      These properties, combined with the small size make the krytron ideal for use in the detonating circuitry of certain types of missiles and smart bombs. The krytron may be used directly to fire a high precision exploding wire, or alternatively as part of the triggering circuitry for a triggered spark gap or similar ultra high current triggering device as used in exploding foil slapper type detonators and larger EBW circuits. Krytrons are used in firing circuits for certain lasers and flash tubes and also in some pulse welding applications, often as triggering devices for other larger devices such as Thyratrons and spark gaps. . .

      References: (in alphabetical order by title)
      1) EG&G Catalogues/ Material. (RE: Components)
      2) Exploding Wires Vol. 4, Proc. of 4th Conf. on the Exploding Wire Phenomena. Ed. Chace and Moore -Plenum Press (RE: EBW’s)
      3) High Power Optically Activated Solid State Switches, ed. Rosen And Zutavern- Artech House (RE: Solid state devices)
      4) High Speed Pulse Technology by Frank Frungel -Academic Press. (RE: EBW’s, FCG’s, components)
      5) High Velocity Impact Phenomena by Ray Kinslow-Academic Press. (RE: Foil Slappers)
      6) IEEE publications (please contact author for more details).
      7) Maxwell Catalogues. (RE: spark gaps)
      8) Mullard Valves and Tubes Book 2 Part 3 (RE: components)

      Disclaimer: I the author assume no responsibility for anyone who injures/kills themselves trying to implement any of the above technologies. High voltages are generally exceptionally dangerous, and none of the above is intended or should be used to provide instruction in the correct procedures for building or constructing high voltage circuitry of any description. High voltage is used here to describe any voltage which may cause death i.e. anything above 50V.

      SOURCE –

      • JLewisDickerson on February 4, 2017, 4:22 am

        P.S. ALSO SEE:


        Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army

        The Counterproliferation Papers

        Future Warfare Series No. 2

        USAF Counterproliferation Center

        Air War College

        Air University

        Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

        September 1999

        The Counterproliferation Papers Series was established by the USAF Counterproliferation Center to provide information and analysis to U.S. national security policy-makers and USAF officers to assist them in countering the threat posed by adversaries equipped with weapons of mass destruction.

        Counterproliferation Paper No. 2
        USAF Counterproliferation Center
        Air War College

        Air University
        Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama 36112-6427

        • LINK –

    • JLewisDickerson on February 4, 2017, 4:50 pm

      RE: Milchan said he had only recently learned “that a krytron was a small little gizmo which anyone can go buy freely in the United States. You can use them on all kinds of things, including, incidentally, making cholent.” ~ from above

      ■ IMAGE: High Power Krytron Laser Trigger Pulse Nuclear Switching Tube Kn6b (USED)
      Free shipping
      ☢ eBay listing –

      DISCLAIMER: Must not be used for nuclear weapons! Should only be used for cholent, photocopiers, etc! ! !


      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      [EXCERPTS] The krytron is a cold-cathode gas-filled tube intended for use as a very high-speed switch, somewhat similar to the thyratron. It consists of a sealed glass tube with four electrodes. A small triggering pulse on the grid electrode switches the tube on, allowing a large current to flow between the cathode and anode electrodes. The vacuum version is called a vacuum krytron, or sprytron. The krytron was one of the earliest developments of the EG&G Corporation.

      Unlike most other gas switching tubes, the krytron conducts by means of an arc discharge, to handle very high voltages and currents (reaching several kilovolts and several kiloamperes), rather than the low-current glow discharge used in other thyratrons. The krytron is a development of the triggered spark gaps and thyratrons originally developed for radar transmitters during World War II.

      The gas used in krytrons is hydrogen;[2] noble gases (usually krypton, or a Penning mixture) can also be used.[3]

      [Diagram of a Krytron]
      A krytron has four electrodes. Two are a conventional anode and cathode. One is a keep-alive electrode, arranged to be close to the cathode. The keep-alive has a low positive voltage applied, which causes a small area of gas to ionize near the cathode. High voltage is applied to the anode, but primary conduction does not occur until a positive pulse is applied to the trigger electrode (“Grid” in the image above). Once started, arc conduction carries a considerable current.

      The fourth is a control grid, usually wrapped around the anode, except for a small opening on its top.[4]

      In place of or in addition to the keep-alive electrode some krytrons may contain a very tiny amount of radioactive material (usually less than 5 microcuries (180 kBq) of nickel-63), which emits beta particles (high-speed electrons) to make ionization easier. The radiation source serves to increase the reliability of ignition and formation of the keep-alive electrode discharge.

      The gas filling provides ions for neutralizing the space charge and allowing high currents at lower voltage.[4] The keep-alive discharge populates the gas with ions, forming a preionized plasma; this can shorten the arc formation time by 3–4 orders of magnitude in comparison with non-preionized tubes, as time does not have to be spent on ionizing the medium during formation of the arc path.[5]

      The electric arc is self-sustaining; once the tube is triggered, it conducts until the arc is interrupted by the current falling too low for too long (under 10 milliamperes for more than 100 microseconds for the KN22 krytrons).[2]

      Krytrons and sprytrons are triggered by a high voltage from a capacitor discharge via a trigger transformer, in a similar way flashtubes for e.g. photoflash applications are triggered. Devices integrating a krytron with a trigger transformer are available.[5] . . .

      Krytrons and their variations are manufactured by Perkin-Elmer Components and used in a variety of industrial and military devices. They are best known for their use in igniting exploding-bridgewire and slapper detonators in nuclear weapons, their original application, either directly (sprytrons are usually used for this) or by triggering higher-power spark gap switches. They are also used to trigger thyratrons, large flashlamps in photocopiers, lasers and scientific apparatus, and for firing ignitors for industrial explosives.

      Export restrictions in USA
      Because of their potential for use as triggers of nuclear weapons, the export of krytrons is tightly regulated in the United States. A number of cases involving the smuggling or attempted smuggling of krytrons have been reported, as countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons have attempted to procure supplies of krytrons for igniting their weapons. One prominent case was that of Richard Kelly Smyth, who allegedly helped Arnon Milchan smuggle 15 orders of 810 krytrons total to Israel.[10] 469 of these were returned to America, with Israel claiming the remaining 341 were “destroyed in testing”.

      Krytrons and sprytrons handling voltages of 2,500 V and above, currents of 100 A and above, and switching delays of under 10 microseconds are typically suitable for nuclear weapon triggers.[11] . . .

      SOURCE –

  8. just on February 5, 2017, 1:57 pm

    “The Haaretz newspaper observed recently that this underground economy had become so big – with an annual turnover reaching as much $39 billion – Israel could find itself on the same list as Iran as “one of the leading state financiers of global terrorism”.”

    – See more at:

    I often appreciate Jonathan Cook’s insight, but that’s an article from 2015 and Israel and Israeli terrorism is still being financed by billionaire Zionists and Western governments. Now the Gulf states and KSA are officially in the club.

    Iran is only protecting itself (not starting wars at all) while the US and its ‘allies’ continue to wreak mayhem all over MENA and the world.

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