The government of Bebe Netanyahu is threatened this month with two dramatic cases that could have far reaching consequences for Israeli liberty and democracy. One is the trial of former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that began Sunday in Jerusalem. He is charged with fraud and breach of trust. The case may shine a light on the shadowy financial arrangements that exist between the 6 families that own most of Israeli banking, media and construction and the underworld. Both of these segments of Israeli society are the iron foundations of Netanyahu's support (financial and muscle). Detail on Bebe's past strategy and the links between the very rich and the underworld at: http://www.dailykos.com/.... Israel risks showing itself as "democratic" and ruled by law as other countries in the Middle East.
The other legal problem Bebe has is the accidental death of a Mossad spy who was also an Australian citizen which complicates a cover-up. Ben Zygier died in a Mossad security prison in December of 2010. Netanyahu has created an even more "special" case for Israel that Reagan and the Bush Presidents for the USA (America the Exceptional). Netanyahu is quoted by the AP Monday as representing that Israel cannot give a detailed explanation for Zygier's death because, "We are not like other countries. We are more challenged, and therefore we have to ensure the proper activity of our security forces." Speaking like Nixon on the day after Watergate, or Reagan during the Irancontra scandal, Bebe has struck another high chord of hyperbole.
Here is the brief outline of the financial and criminal underpinnings of the war party of Netanyahu and resistance to it:
Centre-left parities like Labour and Meretaz are seeing more interest as a Israeli Left is energized in fighting Palestinian evictions and new settlements. The way to fight this, the powerful elite has always found, is to invade a neighbor, or create some other "crisis."This elite, called, Israel Inc, by the Financial Times, (May 14, 2020) controls most of Israel's industry, including the media and banking. Led by a few families, at the top of which is Nochi Dankner controlling owner of IDB Holdings, CLal Insurance, mobile phone group Cellcom, and large holdings in Makhtshim-Agan Industries. Also Yitzhak Tshuva controls the Delek Group, the Ofer Family control Israel Corp, Lev Leviev controls Africa-Israel and is the world's largest cutter and polisher of diamonds. Rounding the top group out is Shari Arison, Israel's richest woman with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at $3.4 bn.
In a recent report by the Bank of Israel it was concluded that, "...in terms of dispersion of control, Israel is one of the most concentrated developed countries and even resembles a developing country in this respect." Israel, founded on egalitarian principles and socialist ideals is run and its policies controls and directed by a powerful few who see the only way to stay in power is war, oppression and brutality. The stakes are high. IISS data show that Israeli defense expenditures are now twice the per capita amount expended by Saudi Arabia and more than 10 times that of the next Middle Eastern country, Jordan (http://www.iiss.org/...).
Over the period of the Bush administrations money from U.S supporters of Israeli right wing politics increased dramatically with Sharon receiving over $1million in secret payments, reported by Jeffry Smith in the Washington Post in 2003. The payments from U.S. charities was supposed to be for academic studies and cultural exchanges. Increased involvement of U.S. radical right evangelical groups with the right wing Likud party also took place at the same time. as reported in the Financial Times (July 16, 2005).
The mode and tempo of lawlessness in the international arena has continued to pattern on the domestic scene with tit for tat by the Israeli assassins both inside the country and abroad. Assassinations like that of Abu Jihad in 2006 area as frequent and have become as accepted and expected as those supposedly between mob bosses and business competitors like the car bombing of Yaakov Alperon reported by the Los Angeles Times reporter Richard Boudreaux, on Nov. 18, 2008.
The experience of Maj. Noam Ziv who found a 4 year old child prepared for assassination by an Israeli intelligence team in 2002 (reported by Suzanne Zima for the S.F. Chronicle ) have increased in recent years especially after the savage destruction of Lebanese cities and towns and the recent attacks on Gaza. The upshot of the elite control of Israeli media and business is a state that is rapidly falling into the chaos of oligarchic terror. Peace and justice can only flourish in a democracy which Israel is daily seeing collapse.
Israel needs a new tax structure to reduce the concentration of wealth and it needs to have the interlocking companies that control its business broken up to promote economic democracy. This will be hard to take place in an environment where any criticism of the status quo is characterized as treason. It is time for change.
The world, and of course, Palestinians, can expect Bebe to unleash an attack on someone, somewhere to try and distract attention from these embarrassments. (See the last case at: http://www.dailykos.com/...) Like Reagan and Bush (both) attacking someone takes the pressure off and Bebe has learned his lessons well from his American patrons.