By Stephen E. Lipken
Marc Schulman, Tel Aviv, Newsweek columnist spoke at Congregation Anshe Sholom, New Rochelle on Sunday, December 2nd regarding the upcoming Israeli elections.
Introduced by Rabbi Evan Hoffman, Schulman began, “There has been a lot of breaking news in the last three hours. Two things have taken place: 1) The Police recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in the 4000 case; 2) The Supreme Court gave an extension on the Draft Bill.
“Why did Netanyahu want to delay the elections? One theory is that Netanyahu offered to resign if charges against him were dropped. Case 1000 involves the receipt of $250,000 worth of cigars, ice cream and jewelry, [allegedly from businessmen]. A clear Israeli law states that Prime Ministers cannot receive gifts. Keep in mind that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was jailed for accepting $20,000 bribes.
“The 2000 indict-ment revolves around a deal to receive positive coverage in Yedioth Achronot, in return for Sheldon Adelson’s Yisrael Hayom discontinuing publishing its Friday edition, thus making Yedioth more profitable.
“With 3000, this has to do with purchasing submarines from Germany without favorable bids; back bribes were involved.”
“In the 4000 charges, Bezeq bought a new communications site, Walla! Netanyahu insisted on becoming the Minister of Communications. He did not mention that he and Bezeq controlling shareholder and Walla! owner Shaul Elovitch were close friends, a conflict of interest. Netanyahu and his wife Sara were indicted for accepting bribes from Elovitch in return for favorable policy decisions.”
Later, Schulman deplored Israel’s withdrawing from International Agreement on Refugees, pressured to do so by right-wing Hungarian, Polish, Italian and Trump governments, especially since IAR was founded in 1951 to allow Holocaust survivors to emigrate to Israel.
“There are 40,000 refugees with Israel’s 8 million,” Schulman said. “Israel has a low unemployment rate—they are looking for workers. But there is money to be made importing workers from China.”