Protests regarding law that protects Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu from prosecution for corruption

By Penny Hoffmann

Outside a Tel Aviv museum, a pro-democracy protest was held by Israeli opposition leaders.

This protest opposed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent re-election for his fifth term and reportedly accused him of desiring to implement legislation that protects him from prosecution for corruption.

Opposition parties stated that Netanyahu can not continue to be Israel’s prime minister if he is charged for fraud and bribery after he received allegations of corruption.

According to NBC News, on the 28th of February 2019, Netanyahu rejected allegations of corruption:

“The left applied bullish pressure, relentless, i would even say inhuman, on the attorney general in order to make him say that he is considering indicting me pending a hearing even though it’s clear there is nothing, in order to influence the elections, even though he knows this house of cards will collapse after the elections.

“Since the attorney general is just a human, the pressure of the left worked.

“I tell you the citizens of Israel, this house of cards will collapse.

“I am absolutely certain. I am certain of it 4,000 percent.

“I plan on serving you and the state as prime minister for many years.”

According to RT, “He stands accused of possible crimes against humanity because a UN independent commission has ruled that his UK armed soldiers used live ammunition to fire on 6,000 unarmed protesters without justification”.

In the UN commission of inquiry into 2018 protests, Chair Santiago Canton stated that “the commission has found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli Security Forces committed serious violations of human rights of international humanitarian law.”

Netanyahu’s corruption allegations include:

Case 1000 Indictment

Netanyahu was accused of receiving nearly $200,000 worth of gifts, reportedly mainly boxes of cigars for “his personal use”, from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favors.

He also reportedly received bottles of champagne for his wife.

Two of these businessmen include owner of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited Australian James Packer and Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan.

Case 2000 Indictment

Netanyahu was accused of conspiring to get more news coverage in his favor by collaborating with Arnon “Noni” Mozes, the publisher of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for weaker legislation for the newspaper to beat a competing newspaper.

Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit stated the following, according to i24NEWS English:

“Even though you did not request and did not accept the proposal, you did not reject Moses’ proposal, but you continued to lead the matter, promoting the legislation, including ideas you raised during the election period, even though you did not intend to advance the legislation.”

Case 4000 Indictment

Case 4000 is another indictment that regards Netanyahu desiring more media coverage that is in his favor.

It is alleged that Netanyahu reportedly conspired to get “regulatory benefits for Shaul Elovich, owner of Bezeq Telecommunications Company, in exchange for favourable news coverage on his website”, according to i24NEWS English.

According to attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, “in essence, a “give and take” relationship was established between Elovich and Netanyahu:

“On the one hand, Elovich slanted the coverage in Walla to Netanyahu, in an irregular manner, so it will benefit him and companies under his control, including Bezeq, and on the other hand, Netanyahu, using his governmental and executive power in the regulatory field, to benefit Bezeq.”

 

 

“F*CK TURKEY” Netanyahu’s son risks igniting World War 3

By Nikos Tsinakis 

In recent events following president Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Muslim nations around the world headed by Turkey took their protest to the international community. As a result of this diplomatic spat between the Jewish state and Ankara, 
Yair Netanyahu- Son of the Israeli Prime Minister, with a long history of making controversial social media posts, shared  an image on Instagram that portrayed an edited Turkish flag that clearly displays the words: “F*ck Turkey”

TURKEY-POLITICS
Background: Turkey has been protesting against Trump’s decision and Israel’s use of deadly force against Palestinian protesters

Jerusalem Post:

Turkey has been among the most vocal critics of the Israeli use of deadly force against protesters at the Gaza border and of the U.S. decision to open its new embassy in Jerusalem. It called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Friday.

Speaking at a dinner on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan said the majority of the international community had failed to react to the events in Gaza, and warned that remaining silent would mean “opening a very dangerous door.”

“In the face of all these events, the United Nations has ended. (It has) become exhausted and collapsed,” Erdogan said. “If Israel’s bullying is met with more silence, the world will rapidly be dragged into a chaos where thuggery prevails.”


Turkey and Israel now experience an unprecedented level of intense diplomatic tension with Erdogan describing the events on the 16th of this month as an act of genocide and that “Turkey would stand by Palestine no matter the cost”

His words were put into action after summoning Ambassador Eitan Naveh and told him it would be “appropriate” for him to return to Israel.

Israel retaliated against these actions by expelling the Turkish consul-general in Jerusalem and, on Wednesday, summoned the country’s deputy ambassador in Tel Aviv for a dressing down.

More than 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2700 were injured during the organized protest near an Israel border fence on Wednesday.

Such a proactive stance taken by Turkey was rather unexpected as the relationship of two countries have been improving since 2016 as well as the country rarely presented itself as the leader of the Muslim world in the past due to its attempt to appeal to the EU as a secular nation.

A dangerous catalyst

There’s a real possibility that this war of words will escalate beyond the realms of diplomacy and economic matter. Israel’s actions have already pushed Turkey and Iran closer; the two were historical rivals with their majority populations following different sects of Islam, Sunni, and Shia respectively. Should an Alliance between these two major Muslim powers form, it could have the potential to seriously damage the interests of Israel.

Reuters:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s regional policies were “miscalculated”, and should be condemned by Muslim countries.

“Muslim countries should condemn U.S. and Israeli actions with a united voice,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency

One thing is clear: The United States and West European countries must not intervene should any armed conflicts occur, it’s time for the middle east to solve their own problems. America First. No more pointless wars for so called “great allies” that’ll result in nothing but wasted American blood and dollars.

Israel Reached Deal with U.N. to Deport African Migrants to Western Countries

Image: © AP Photo/ Oded Balilty

By Stefan M. Kløvning

Israel, Immigration –  The Israeli government announced on Monday that they had reached a deal with the United Nations High Commissioner to deport around 16,250 migrants to Western countries like Canada, Germany, Italy and Scandinavian countries, most of which are from Eritrea and Sudan, a plan they intend to implement over the next five years. They also promised to keep 18,000 of the migrants themselves, and to offer them temporary status in Israel, which they contend will be reevaluated after the five years have passed.

This deal changes the circumstances dramatically from Israel’s initial decision to start mass deportations of the Africans to countries like Rwanda and Uganda on April 1 along with $3,500 – a highly controversial proposal as many of the immigrants fleeing war and abuse also finds problems in other countries in Africa, and right groups have argued that this would only endanger them further. More specifics about the inadequacies of Israel’s former plan has been provided by U.N.’s refugee agency, who said that the migrants relocated in the other African countries the past few years had been subjected to abuse, torture and even death, and called the Israeli government to reconsider its position – something they have now done. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted this at the press conference of the announcement, where he admitted that ‘legal constraints as well as political difficulties on the part of [Uganda and Rwanda]’ led to the cancellation of the original deportation plans.

It was even worse earlier this year. In January, for instance, the Israeli government warned the Eritrean and Sudanese immigrants that they would have to get out of the countries within 90 days or get imprisoned. The month after, Netanyahu announced that the 40,000 undocumented migrants from Africa would face indefinite detention if they didn’t leave voluntarily – a plan which the High Court (Supreme Court of Israel) temporarily suspended on March 15 until the revision of an anti-deportation petition. The Israeli government claims to have no obligation to keep these migrants, most of whom are job seekers. They have said previously, however, that women, children, families, and those escaping the genocide in Sudan’s western region of Darfur would be exempted from deportation. A 28 year old university student in Jerusalem, Monim Haroon, who escaped from Darfur five years ago, said that ‘as asylum-seekers we don’t care where we are going to be as long as it is a safe place, and these countries are willing to protect us and we can live with human dignity. If we will get status here in Israel there are a lot of things we can learn about how to build our country when we are able to go back. Israel is like a school for us.’

The complications regarding Israel’s immigration policies have arisen following criticism by nationalist Jews, who demands the right-wing government to be skeptical to immigration as they want to keep their ‘promised land’ and national home to themselves. Other Israelis, however, are open to such immigration, creating an ambivalence and moral dilemma for the government to make decisions on the issue. Netanyahu has stressed his position, asserting that too much African migration to the country would ‘endanger [Israel’s] Jewish and democratic nature.’

The significance of African migration to Israel is most commonly observed in southern Tel Aviv, which has come to be called ‘Little Africa’ due to its high concentration of African migrants. Netanyahu vowed that he would prioritize the rehabilitation of the neighbourhoods in this region in the actualization of the deal. His office has already created a special committee, headed by former Kadima MK Avigdor Yitzhaki, which aims to improve the quality of life in this region.

The deal has been widely commended in Israel, by all from members of the opposition Zionist Union to the left wing Meretz party. Shelly Yamchimovich of the former party, for instance, tweeted that the agreement was ‘a great victory of civil struggle and the voice of morality and reason against racism and xenophobia. The roadmap seems to be a moral, international, and worrying face, for the first time, to residents of the southern neighborhoods [of Tel Aviv].’ Tamar Zandberg, the new head of the Meretz party, agrees, calling it ‘simply an amazing and inspiring achievement of a determined and just civil and public campaign.’

Israel has built a fence along its border with Egypt over the past years, but about 64,000 Africans have still managed to get across the border illegally since 2005, though many thousands of them have left since then. This description by NBC News, however, is misleading. As Aron Heller points out in his article for ABC News, the influx of tens of thousands of African immigrants stopped after Israel completed the barrier in 2012, but Israel succeedingly ‘struggled with what to do with those already in the country, alternating between plans to deport them and offering them menial jobs in hotels and local municipalities.’