Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 21, 2019

Netanyahoo, Indicted For Bribery, Fraud And Breach Of Trust, Becomes More Dangerous

The Attorney General of Israel just indicted Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahoo in three cases. The announcement comes at a time of political stalemate. It might help to resolve it. 

Israel had two parliament elections this year which both ended in a political stalemate. Neither Prime Minister Netanyahoo of the Likud Party nor Blue and White coalition leader Benny Gantz managed to form a government. Both were unable to find enough additional votes to form a coalition and to gain a majority.

Now the parliament has 21 days to find a majority. It will likely fail and a third election seems inevitable.

It is curious that Israel's Attorney General used this point in time to finally charge Netanyahoo:

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced Thursday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be charged with bribery, fraud and breach in three corruption cases, dubbed Cases 4000, 2000 and 1000.

In the most serious case Netanyahoo is alleged to have changed regulations in exchange for more positive press coverage:

Case 4000 is considered the most serious, and revolves around an alleged bribery deal between Netanyahu and businessman Shaul Elovich, who controlled the Bezeq telecommunications company and the Walla News site. According to the indictment, Netanyahu and Elovich engaged in a quid-pro-pro deal in which Netanyahu – as communication minister – led regulatory steps directly tied to Elovich's businesses and interests that yielded the tycoon some $500 million.

In return, according to the indictment, Netanyahu and his wife Sara made consistent requests to alter the coverage on the Walla News website in order to serve the Netanyahus' interests and target their opponents. Elovich allegedly pressed the editors of the website to comply with the Netanyahus' demands.

Walla publisher Elovich as well as Arnon Mozes, publisher of the Yedioth Ahronot media group, will also be indicted for bribery.

The charges have been known for quite some time and the timing of the official announcement seems political.

Netanyahoo will now come under intense pressure to resign. It is very much his personality that blocked the forming of a new government. Should he be removed over the next 21 days it might be possible for the parliament to form a government and to avoid a third election.

But Netanyahoo will fight tooth and nail to gain and keep immunity. He will try to delegitimize the judicative and he will use any available trick to stay in office.

That makes him even more dangerous than he usually is.

He might even decide to do something, like starting a big war, to prevent his removal from power.

Lebanon, Syria and Iran must watch out.

Posted by b on November 21, 2019 at 17:31 UTC | Permalink


Nuttyahoo already tried to escalate tensions with Syria via the attack on Damascus two days ago that's barely been discussed. And Mossad certainly is playing a role in fomenting all the protests in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and recent terrorist activity in Syria's Daraa. As I wrote on the open thread in linking to this news as b posted his item, I bet the natives of Occupied Palestine would have no trouble forming a government if given the chance. IMO, the One State Solution just got nudged forward.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 21 2019 17:48 utc | 1


Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Nov 21 2019 17:49 utc | 2

He might even decide to [do] something, like starting a big war ...

You mean like this:

Nov 20: Israel Announced ‘Wide-Scale Strikes’ Against ‘Iranian Quds Force’ And Syrian Army

Or, this:

Nov 21: "Alarming" Leaked Intel Report: Qatar Had Prior Knowledge Of Iran Attack On Vessels


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 21 2019 17:53 utc | 3

next, attorney general of israel accused of antisemitism.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 21 2019 17:56 utc | 4

Bibi, the acrobat has 9 lives. He won't be a guest checking -in at the Rebar Hotel.

That "try something" he already did over the last few days. Mr. Putin should go beyond just condemning Israel's violation of Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity and upgrade Syria to S-400. And why not Lebanon?

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 21 2019 17:59 utc | 5

Lebanon, Syria and Iran will be fine. They have been battling Israel for a long time. The Syrian regime change operation was a disaster for the US Empire/Israel/Turkey/Saudi alliance. It drew Hezbollah, the SAA, and Iran into direct military alliances including joint coordination on the ground in Syria. It brought Russia into the mix which has strengthened border controls and air defense and made it possible to gain back control over most of the country. It fractured the regime change coalition and brought Turkey closer to Russia's side or at least a neutral position. Without Turkey the regime change operation has no chance. They are the staging ground and entry point. That is why all the hot air from the congress should be laughed at. When push comes to shove the empire needs Turkey far more than the empire needs the Kurds. The Kurds are the weak power in the region. They have little control over their own fate and will take whatever help they can get. The USA used them to carve out an area of operations but if they can work out a deal with the Turks, or if the Turks insist on pushing them out, you better believe the empire will step back and watch the Kurds be slaughtered. The empire may huff and puff but they will roll over if it will help bring Turkey back to their side.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Nov 21 2019 18:28 utc | 6

Isreael is in deep economic trouble.

It's economy is stagnated for decades now (about 3% GDP growth per year) and its inequality has been rising at record levels.

To make things even worse, the propaganda from the post-Holocaust generation of the 1950s to early 1960s -- to use high birth rates as a "weapon" against its rivals in the ME -- caused a demographic bomb that is only getting worse. This demographic explosion was further worsened by the fact that most of this growth came mainly from the ultraorthodox Jews -- people who don't want to work and don't want to serve in the military, insteady only wanting to pray and suck the tits of the State. The recent aggressive advance towards the West Bank for sure is a result of this excessive demographic growth.

The miracle of the 1950s -- which was fuelled to the explosive levels with a highly virulent ideology and an extremely aggressive religion -- was soon dashed by the great recession of 1965. That recession was soon followed by the Six-Day War. That year, the Jewish Dream of peace and cooperation died only to give birth to a much more macabre ideology: the belief that wars can solve any kind of crisis in Israel.

Well, that won't work forever, and the Jews will learn that the hard way -- like they did in 136 CE.

Posted by: vk | Nov 21 2019 18:33 utc | 7

By what mechanism can the Likud Party remove Netanyahoo's Prime-Ministership or, alternatively, to somehow circumvent him to make it possible for Likud and Mr. Gantz to form an alliance?

Posted by: chet380 | Nov 21 2019 18:34 utc | 8

It might be more than just a coincidence of timing that this happened a day after the Trump administration's decision to no longer regard the Israeli settlements as illegal. I'm sure that some people in Israeli and American intelligence agencies got wind of the indictment before it was announced.

Netanyahu could now use the American change in settlement policy as a green light for official annexation of a large part of the West Bank. There is no significant political opposition to stop him from doing that, either in Israel or in Western countries (where BDS is portrayed simply as anti-antisemitism). The Attorney General will be smeared as unpatriotic for going after a leader who takes over territory that the Israeli political establishment sees as part of Israel.

Posted by: Brendan | Nov 21 2019 18:48 utc | 9

This guy should know as he and Bibi shares something in common- corruption charges. Before today's indictment of Bibi he predicted in an interview last month:

Netanyahu is finished' - Ehud Olmert

The former Israeli prime minister believes that a government without Benjamin Netanyahu will be less provocative and an ‘improvement’ for Palestinian-Israeli relations. He also thinks leaving the Iran nuclear deal was a mistake.

Ehud Olmert is a survivor. His political career – stints as a cabinet member and mayor of Jerusalem, followed by a short but eventful premiership from 2006 to 2009 in which he oversaw military campaigns against Hamas and Hezbollah, made progress negotiating with the Palestinian Authority, and stood down facing corruption allegations which eventually landed him in jail (but he denied) - would have worn out many people. His energy appears undimmed as he spoke to TRT World on the sidelines of this year’s Rhodes Forum.[.]

“He will be indicted, and Netanyahu is finished. His service as prime minister has come to an end.”

Since the second election, Netanyahu has been trying to form a government, thus far without success. Olmert expects Israel’s president to ask Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s opponent, to form a coalition. But this will likely be impossible, making a third election all but inevitable.

“This is not something that is desired, but under the circumstances, it looks like the only option,” Olmert says. He thinks that a third-round may produce “somewhat different results” possibly allowing Gantz to form a new government.

This could have positive implications for the Palestinian conflict. A Gantz-led administration would, “certainly be better for the peace process than the government of Netanyahu,” Olmert said.[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 21 2019 19:21 utc | 10

- I consider Netanjahu to be "on his way out". I think he has made too much enemies. Hence the indictment of this Judge. But don´t underestimate him. He could drag out his "departure" for a while.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 21 2019 19:56 utc | 11

#6 'That is why all the hot air from the congress should be laughed at.'

You are presuming that Congress (or Trump for that matter) understand Turkey or any other country.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Nov 21 2019 20:28 utc | 12

As 'b' points out, the likely targets for a new war, Lebanon is singularly the most probable. It suits Israel's air power and the society is already fractured, the economy in rapid fall, the currency under enormous deflation, banks are being run as capital flees for safer quarters. And Iran is strapped for cash to infuse and assist Hezbollah at this time.

So, Lebanon, which the US desires to change and France wants back under its influence looks like it will soon catch hell from the democracies of the West. Needless bloodbaths will erupt. The infrastructure destroyed.

And maybe Bibi can save his ass if things go as planned.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 21 2019 20:40 utc | 13

I understand the premise of the article, but it is less clear to me that the Israeli army would automatically do anything Netanyahoo wants.
After all, isn't Netanyahoo's primary rival a former Israeli Army general?
Netanyahoo was in the Israeli army also, but left as a captain.
Why would anyone that Gantz influences - from this Israeli army chief of staff days, from which he left in 2015 - not automatically follow Netanyahoo's direction?
There's always the intel services, of course, but even then it isn't clear to me who they favor.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 21 2019 20:42 utc | 14

@vk 7

I don't know what you have smoked this morning but it is powerful. You write this : "It's economy is stagnated for decades now (about 3% GDP growth per year)"

3% per year, sustained over a decade is the opposite of stagnation, but it is simply an excellent result. We are nos speaking of an emergent economy, the monthly average salary is 3150$ (on par with France) and unemployment is 3.6% (france is 9%).

Posted by: murgen23 | Nov 21 2019 20:56 utc | 15

murgen23 @15

The prosperity of the theocratic apartheid state is not something to be proud of.

Israel's population is about 9 million with a unemployment rate of 3.7% (

The Palestinian territories have a population of about 4.85 million and an unemployment rate of 24.6% (


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 21 2019 21:30 utc | 16

Murgen23 @ 15:

I do not know where VK @ 7 got his information from but seems to agree with VK that the GDP growth rate for Israeli economy has been on a downward trend over the past 28 years. Some years have been better than others (and might account for the apparent average growth of 3% over a decade in that 28-year period) but the overall trend for nearly the past 30 years looks poor.

More pressing should be how Israel's economy and society have become more and more unequal, and how the nation's resources and industries have become concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite of about 20 families such as the Arisons and Dankners. One report dated 2007 put the number of these wealthy families at nineteen.

Paradoxically also, given that Israel has been pushing people into settlements in the West Bank, housing costs in the pre-1967 territory of Israel are very high. I would assume that property speculation in favoured real estate (in places like Tel Aviv) by rich people able to own several homes exacerbates the problem.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 21 2019 21:36 utc | 17

I really hope Netanyahu is done .I am so sick of this warmongering oppressive criminal in the process .The state of Israel needs to join the
human race and stop stealing land it is squatting on.Today I applaud Jewish Independent Voice of Canada for standing up for what is right in determining that condemning the state of Israel for it's oppressive actions towards the Palestinians is not antisemitism .

Posted by: Guy | Nov 21 2019 21:58 utc | 18

thanks b... israel would be smart to drop this warmonger criminal... hopefully the ''get out of jail with war card'' doesn't get played... although as karlof1 @1 has noted, israel has been bombing syria of late in a more significant way and of course not a whisper from the msm on any of this...

regarding vks comment on the situation in israel, it is true the ultra orthodox are the ones expanding the growth rates having 10-15 kids per family.. this doesn't bode well for the future of tolerance or israel as i see it.. as for the numbers on employment and growth, i wonder how much usa annual donations, not including sheldon adelson and various private donors, contributes to israels growth and the expansion of settlements for these ultraorthodox folks?? they are brewing a dangerous concoction, but they don't seem to care... viva racism under the banner of a home for the jews... thankfully canada for the first time in a long time went against this bullshit... obviously someone must have tied crystia freelands hands temporarily...

Posted by: james | Nov 21 2019 22:25 utc | 19

He'll end up in Amerika before he goes to jail. He can hang out in the trumpster tower in NY.

Posted by: jo6pac | Nov 21 2019 22:41 utc | 20

U.S. foreign aid (excluding two Re-authorization packages) to Israel appears to be about $3.8 Billion for the current year.

At another site: The U.S. provides Israel $10.5 million in military aid each day.

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 21 2019 22:55 utc | 21

Honest. Can't make this up.

Bibi will have us buy-in that his indictment is an attempted coup by foreign interests and we need to investigate the investigators

Coup it's a virus.

@ James 19 @ JR 16 @ VK 7

No worries for Israel

In addition to the annual military gifts, how many American taxpayers are aware that the State of Israel bonds are guaranteed by the U.S. government? Enjoys the same credit rating as the United States! How about the other 50 states?

See also at -a very large pdf file on the U. S. guarantees - still in place to 09. 2019 and quietly renewed?

In 2014 when S&P downgraded rating Reuters had an article listing the impacts to include Israel Bonds and within 2 hours that little paragraph on Israel Bonds was scrubbed.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 21 2019 23:00 utc | 22

@ Posted by: murgen23 | Nov 21 2019 20:56 utc | 15

It depends on the strategic objectives of the country.

3% is essentially geopolitical stagnation. By conforming to a lesser than 4.5%ish annual GDP growth rate, you're basically telling the rest of the world (including your enemies) and, more importantly, your own people, that this is the plateau, you're not going anywhere for the forseeable future. It's essentially an admission that progress is over. I don't think the peoples of the First World are satisfied with their lives nowadays -- to say France is the model of a capitalist utopia is to betray the very promise the capitalists made to its peoples at the onset of the Cold War (flying cars? End of poverty? Live until you're 120?). If we do a retrospective of the perspectives of post-war capitalism in a chronological order, we can confidently say that capitalism failed.

In my mind, the objective of Israel is to become the hegemon of the Middle East. It considers itself (and propagandizes itself) as the Western oasis in the Islamic wasteland of the ME. Given they are a very tiny and poor nation, they won't achieve that objective with a 3% GDP growth.

For the same reason I make fun of South Korea, Japan and India: they sell themselves as something much better than what they really are.

Posted by: vk | Nov 21 2019 23:49 utc | 23

FWIW on file
@ very large doc 106+ pages - comprehensive stats State of Israel

Table 4: Main Economic Indicators - State of Israel 2013 to 2017

Real GDP growth:
2013 4.2%
2014 3.5%
2015 2.6%
2016 4.0%
2017 3.3%

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 22 2019 0:37 utc | 24

Nut@yahoo is a reactionary piece of work.
Israel really needs competent leadership.
Maybe he could come to the US and be a leader in the Trump Regime?

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 22 2019 0:52 utc | 25

People should get a reality check about GDP.
First of all, it's important to adapt it to the population growth. If population stagnates, a 2% GDP growth means improvement; if population increases at 3% rate, a 3% growth rate basically means the economy stagnates.
Then, there's the fact that economic growth has barely hit the 1% annual growth for any society on the planet before the 19th century. Slow growth has always been the rule. Having a monster like China having a 9-10% growth is bloody insane and a sign that something's terribly wrong - and the coming environmental and resources crisis is sure enough proof that mankind has screwed up big time with its ludicrous economic growth.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Nov 22 2019 0:56 utc | 26

james @ 19 asked;" i wonder how much usa annual donations, not including sheldon adelson and various private donors, contributes to israels growth and the expansion of settlements for these ultraorthodox folks??
"Try 23,000 dollars a year for every Israeli.

Posted by: ben | Nov 22 2019 1:21 utc | 27

The most important critique of using GDP as a measure is it counts almost everything as a plus, a positive, when many transactions are actually detrimental to personal wellbeing and the political-economy--court costs for a homicide trial and all other related expenses, for example, are all treated as being positive for the economy when it all ought to be considered a minus. The great majority of the financializing of an economy is treated as a plus when the opposite's true as Hudson and others have explained so often. In reality, the Evil Outlaw US Empire's GDP has been negative since the bubble burst at the end of Slick Willie's reign, a reality denied continuously by neoliberal economists and their allies. GNP was a much better tool despite it's being much harder to gauge since all those negatives needed to be accounted for.

Then we have the huge issue of government honesty when it comes to the issuance of economic figures, which is why Shadowstats exists.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 22 2019 1:31 utc | 28

@ 22 / 24 likklemore @ 27 ben... thanks... numbers are typically fudged, but that is a pretty good overview.. i know as far as the imf and etc are concerned, russia, iran and other such sanctioned countries always show negative growth - gdp and etc, when the reality is something different.. it wouldn't surprise me to find the data for israel slanted in the opposite direction... it goes with the sources track record... i am pretty untrustworthy on so many sources!!!

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2019 2:14 utc | 29

@ Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 22 2019 0:37 utc | 24

Those numbers are practically identical to South Korea's in the same time period. There's no miracle happening in the land of the Chosen People.

The link you posted comfirmed my affirmation Israel has a demographic time bomb. In the section of "population", there's this observation:

Israel’s population, including Israeli citizens residing in the West Bank, but not including foreign nationals residing in Israel for employment purposes, is estimated at 8.80 million as of the end of 2017. This is an increase of 1.9% from 8.63 million in 2016, following 2.0% growth in 2016 from 8.46 million people in 2015, and 2.0% growth in 2015 from 8.30 million people in 2014. Between 1990 and 2017, Israel’s population grew by 82.4%, with a significant part of the increase due to immigration from the former Soviet Union. In 2016, 11.2% of the population was 65 years of age or older, 31.7% was between the ages of 35 and 64, 28.9% was between the ages of 15 and 34, and 28.3% was under the age of 15. 91.2% of the population lives in urban areas, with 18.6% of the population living in Israel’s three largest cities: Jerusalem (population 874,200), Tel Aviv (population 435,900) and Haifa (population 279,200).

The Israeli population is composed of a variety of ethnic and religious groups. In 2016, 74.7% of the total Israeli population was Jewish, 17.7% Muslim, 2.0% Christian and 1.6% Druze. The State’s Declaration of Independence and various decisions of the Supreme Court of Israel guarantee freedom of worship for all Israeli citizens. Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages in Israel, while English is commonly used.

In 2015, the Haredi Jewish community comprised approximately 11.2% of Israel’s population. The Haredi community is characterized by a high fertility rate, which is expected to gradually increase its demographic share among the total population. Based on the demographic projections of the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is anticipated that by 2040 the Haredi community will comprise approximately 20% of the population. The Haredi community is also currently characterized by relatively low participation in the labor market, particularly among men, as well as a low level of labor market-related skills.

There is concern that Haredi demographic trends may, over the long term, contribute to lower aggregate participation in Israel’s labor market and lower labor productivity, thereby adversely affecting GDP growth. The impact of Haredi demographic growth may be significant with respect to tax revenue, due to lower revenues from taxation of labor and a generally lower level of economic development.

So, what this means is that:

1) Israel has a very low old age population (11%). For comparison purposes, your average European First World country (plus Japan) will have something between 39-35%. Even Brazil has a higher proportion of old aged population than Israel, at 18%-19%ish. Low rate of old age population indicates bad life quality and/or high fertility rates.

2) Speaking of fertility rates, the text mentions that the Haredi (i.e. ultraorthodox Jews) are growing at a much higher pace than the rest of the population. As I wrote in my first comment here, those ultraorthodox Jews are infamous in Israel for not wanting to work and not wanting to serve in the Armed Forces. They consider themselves and want the rest of the people to treat them like sacred cows. And they are growing as a proportion of the population. In fact, if it wasn't for the immense influx of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s, those ultraorthodox would've been making about 15% of the entire population -- rivaling with the Muslim Arabs as the largest "minority" of Israel. No wonder the far-right is very viable politically there.

3) Even with those extremely high fertility rates by the Haredi, Israel only has 75% of its population being Jewish. Not only that, but the Muslims make almost 20% of the entire population (probably, absorbed Palestinians during the country's previous territorial expansions). That means Israel failed even in its most basic objective: be a Jewish country for the Jewish people.

About the economic data, it is conclusive: there's nothing special happening in Israel. The country is tiny and only has 8.8 million inhabitants (not counting foreigners living on work). Inflation is low, but almost zero (0.4%) -- that's catastrophic for a capitalist economy like Israel, since it borders deflation. Debt is around 60-70% of total GDP, not bad -- by post-2008 standards. It's balance of payments is erratic (oscillating from 5.4% to 0.6%), which is characteristic of Third World countries. The same is true for the rest of the correlate date. Overall, its "trading economy" hovers around USD 150 billion, which means it could pass as a normal second rate tiny European country.

Its USD reserves are not impressive either -- its peak was USD 113 billion (2017). That's much lower than post-coup Brazil (more than USD 380 billion) and, what, lower than even Erdogan's bankrupt Turkey? That means you shouldn't expect the Chosen People to be weathered from a typical neoliberal crisis, although, to be fair, I don't think any American Wall Streeter would have the balls to attack the Israeli currency (Soros won't do it because he's pro-Israel).

Overall, Israel doesn't strike fear to the rest of the world. The only thing it has other comparable tiny countries (e.g. Hungary, Greece, Czech Republic) don't is the USA's direct protection. But even this protection is not resulting in any kind of exceptional prosperity to the Isreali people in relation to these same comparable countries. Numbers all indicate Israel has peaked -- even if those Haredi start to act like breeding machines, there's no way 8.8 million will be able to fight a country like Iran, which is much bigger and potentially richer.

Iran has much more potential than Israel. If I were the Iranian government, I would quickly end with this Muslim-Aitaollah theocracy bullshit, implement socialist reforms so was to emulate the Chinese system as close as possible ("market socialism with Iranian characteristics") and hurry up propping up its industrial potential. And, of course, make alliances with Russia and China for protection against the inevitable American direct invasion and potential nuclear attack.

But whatever the Iranians do, the new reality of Israel is economic stagnation. No flying cars. No living to age 120. No Jettisons. The Messias won't come.

Posted by: vk | Nov 22 2019 3:11 utc | 30

There's no way he'll dare to start a war with Hezbollah or Iran, both would crush Israel in a conventional war, but as for Syria, yes, that might be an option as their military is busy on all fronts.

Posted by: Beydety | Nov 22 2019 3:35 utc | 31

Mossad danced for joy in Liberty Park as the Twin Towers burned

Posted by: librul | Nov 22 2019 5:36 utc | 32

I cannot see that anyone who gets the pmship of israel could be any better. The combination of media induced paranoia, institutional corruption and ultraorthodox gerrymander will ensure that the best Palestinians could hope for is a somewhat less competent genocidal maniac.

As long as the butchers know they can summon all the support the need from foreign zionists, they will feel no pressure to moderate their aggression. Hell they aren't even trying to conceal their evil racist nonsense any more. When they began chucking out Ethiopians last year (presumably as a way of 'fixing jewish unemployment) a few xtian zionists expressed a morsel of concern for xtian ethiopians but no one said dicky-bird about apartheid israel's mistreatment & deportation of ethiopian jews. at all. Israel is now accepted as only being a home for 'whitish jews'.

Given israel's dominant 'culture' in 2019 is most closely related to the culture of Alabama rednecks circa 1959, it is unrealistic to expect any change to mainstream israeli thinking just because the racist crook in charge is replaced by another racist crook.

At the very least african amerikans - especially those in the military, should be educated about 'the real israel' so they grasp the fact that the apartheid term applied to israel is not in the least figurative, it is a literal description of a bunch of thugs who have been indoctrinated into believing the inferiority of anyone with darker skin tone, especially africans.

Posted by: A User | Nov 22 2019 6:22 utc | 33

One should not forget another successful Jewish Geschäft (געשעפֿט) - Germany paid out reparations for the so-called Holocaust. The most interesting thing about this deal is that it’s hard to find the exact amount paid and the date that these payments end. Every year, the appetites of the Jews only increase.

Posted by: Sarah | Nov 22 2019 6:33 utc | 34

vk at 23.

The object of your statements, i.e., Israel, while indeed tiny in population terms is quite obviously a global heavyweight in terms of power and influence, thus negating the now outdated identification of population size with economic, military, political, social power and that a necessary level of economic 'growth' was required in order to accommodate population growth. Growth in both senses is now a huge net negative for humankind, civilization and all life of this planet.

Posted by: Artful Dodger | Nov 22 2019 6:36 utc | 35

Artful Dodger " Israel, while indeed tiny in population terms is quite obviously a global heavyweight in terms of power and influence,.."

Due mostly to US backing and veto power at the UNSC. Do away with the US and Israel becomes a pissant.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 22 2019 7:00 utc | 36

Artful Dodger | Nov 22 2019 6:36 utc

I must admit that you are completely right - Israel rules the United States and not only.

Posted by: Sarah | Nov 22 2019 7:00 utc | 37

There are a lot of influential fundamentalist Christians in the US who support Israel, not out of any concern for the Israelis or for Judaism, but because they need a resurgent Jewish Nation in order to fulfill their apocalyptic End Times prophecies and kick-start Armageddon.

It is hard to get them to admit it outright, but that is their overriding agenda in all their unbridled support for Israel and people like like Nethanjahu.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 22 2019 9:46 utc | 38

America has finally decided the Bible is not illegal - Opinion

This is a major blow to the BDS movement, which calls to “boycott, divest and sanction” the State of Israel, in addition to a snub to the European Court of Justice.

Posted by: Mao | Nov 22 2019 10:48 utc | 39

VK @ 30:

It's my understanding that in Iran, bonyads (charities) that invest in industry provide employment for and support the poor and working class people. In particular bonyads run by institutions like the IRGC provide benefits and subsidised goods and services to their members and their families. Families who lost fathers, brothers and sons in the Gulf War (1980 - 1988) receive benefits and subsidies. Even Grand Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei oversees a bonyad (Setad) that invests billions into industrial enterprises which provide work and training for lower class people.

On the other hand, the Rouhani government pursues neoliberal policies that, along with US and other Western sanctions, affect the middle classes both as middlemen distributors and retailers and as end-product consumers. Since the middle classes include people we might call the intelligentsia (academics, journalists, writers, professional people) and the creative classes (film makers, actors, artists, musicians), we should be careful about how we treat their artistic and intellectual output as representations of life in Iran: how much credibility should we give to films, novels, plays and other artistic works that claim to portray the reality of life as lived by most people in Iran? How do we or how can we know how accurate such portrayals of everyday life in Iran are, if we do not know if the middle classes mix much with the poor and the working class?

Admittedly I know very little about bonyads - finding English-language information on them that examines them on their terms, and does not compare them unfavourably with for-profit Western corporations, is difficult - but it seems to me that Iran runs two parallel economies, one for the poor; and one for those who desire Iran to be more like America and to be more capitalist, but who don't realise that what they want is a delusion.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 22 2019 11:06 utc | 40

Artful Dodger @36
"Do away with the US and Israel becomes a pissant."

But that is exactly the big problem! Who is gonna do away that, how and how late?
Meanwhile, the Zios win every time with even the craziest aggression, without their sh|tty little begging-bowl state having to lift a pinkie.

Posted by: joe | Nov 22 2019 11:35 utc | 41

@ Posted by: A User | Nov 22 2019 6:22 utc | 33

That's why I think Netanyahu's fall has an economic background, not political. Israel doesn't need him to exterminate the Palestinians -- Benny Gantz will do just fine for that.

My theory is that Netanyahu, albeit successful in the foreign policy, was ineffective in the economic policy. Isreal's already existing contradictions became worse during his reign, not better. He became an ineffective PM.

A parallel can be traced with the USSR's former General Secretary Nikita Krushchev: he was, on the surface, very effective on the foreign policy front -- including a wonderful victory in Hungary in 1956 -- but utterly failed in the domestic economic front. He was given the option to resign instead of being murdered in 1964, and retired in silence until his death in the 1970s.

Posted by: vk | Nov 22 2019 11:37 utc | 42

I don't agree Netanyahu will launch a big war which involves risk. He has carefully avoided it so far - he didn't repeat Olmert's mistake in Lebanon. Beating up defenceless Palestinians is another matter, but even then Gaza 2014 was a warning - the land invasion completely failed, and had to be covered up by even more outrageous air raids. Attacking Hizbullah would be incredibly risky - a good number of those 50,000 missiles might get through. And they're not mere fire-crackers, as the Gazan missiles are.

No, I don't think Netanyahu's military options are good. The generals say no on Iran. Anything that involves ground fighting is also out, as actual fighting on the ground is not popular now in Israel. More air raids is doable but nothing new - they're doing that already.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2019 13:54 utc | 43

Aint that strange? A thread about uber Zionist bibi but no posts by our pseudo anti Z enchantress..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 22 2019 14:52 utc | 44

Despite the fact that the apartheid welfare state receives 10 million a day and all the munitions they care to shoot, they are in no position to launch any kind offensive other than the usual punishment mission at Gaza. There is quite a bit of bravado and empty threatening, but recent history has shown us that the IDF is quite unfit for actual combat. The case of the recent IDF UAV assassination attempt in Lebanon and the following pushback from HZB seemed to redefine the rules of engagement.
The images of mannequins in the military vehicles and the video of the two ATGMS striking their target made that abundantly clear. The isrealis know that any significant attack into Lebanon will be met with an equal or greater response. The iron dome does not appear to be very effective and modern missiles are more accurate with each passing year.
It's unlikely that Benny M. the furniture salesman and crook extrordinaire will choose to trigger what will turn into a disaster for him and all those around him. Will he and his cohorts try to get the USAns tripwire force involved? As per the usual they will try to get someone else to do the fighting and dying, but when the missiles start falling on Haifa and Tel-Aviv they arent going to invade anywhere with ground forces. Yes the chaos and sabotage will go on, and sure the arial attacks will continue as long as there aren't decent anti aircraft assets. But what real options do they have other than to either behave or get bombarded?
As an aside it's worth noting that once the proxies in Syria are cleaned up and rebuilding gets going in earnest, the Syria-Iran-Lebanon consortium will build upon their alliance and that will include sharing of technologies, logistics and coordination with accuracy. That's the problem with a failed attempt to destroy, you run the risk of creating much more capable opponent. Perhaps this is why so many protests are being triggered and infiltrated as we speak, they saboteurs are running out of options and the longer they wait, the stronger and more organized their targets will become.

Posted by: Chevrus | Nov 22 2019 15:18 utc | 45

@VK posts -

Your comments were being challenged so I uploaded the link which affirms your comment. However as with all .gov stats should be taken with a one ton block of salt. "Forward looking statements."

Some U.S. stats on trillions $$ spent but unaccounted are now under cloak of national security never to be viewed by the public. No, not a conspiracy theory. Ask Prof. Skidmore. Prof. Kotlikoff. covered at

The Khazarians pretenders are the real governors. The once oppressed have become the oppressors. Why are the Palestians under their jack boots? Gaza oil and Gas. Palestinian lands and open prisons.
Oh for that beautiful day, I dream.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 22 2019 15:42 utc | 46

So Netanyahoo was caught trying to secure the manipulation of press coverage to his own advantage by using the powers of his state office to increase the profits of the owner of a media conglomerate.

May I just point out that it is a measure of the extent of institutional corruption in the US that even a country as depraved as Israel has a judicial system that functions well enough to bring about a scenario that could never happen in the US. Did not the DNC and Podesta emails of 2016 show that Clinton was controlling press coverage to her own advantage? Was not Clinton's "private" email server while Sec of State a means of hiding from view her using the power of the State Department to obtain hefty donations to the Clinton Foundation by a number of foreign states?

There was never a chance of any of this ever being taken up by the judicial system of the US, just as there was never the slightest chance that Epstein would ever have been prosecuted by such a system if doing so were likely to expose the extent of the corrupting stench of the US financial and political elite.

Why is it the case that the domestic legal and social institutions are more broken and corrupt than those of every one of the US' "Western" allies/client states--the other members of 5 eyes, Israel, and, yes, even Brazil--even as the US's military and financial institutions enjoy a primacy in relation to these same countries.

It is almost as if the citizens of the US *cannot* be allowed to enjoy even such minimal benefits as Medicare for All, pensions, etc. of the sort enjoyed by the citizens of the US client states because their doing so is in some way incompatible with the US' military and financial hegemony.
Has anybody thought about this issue? How the the logic work itself out here?

Posted by: WJ | Nov 22 2019 15:44 utc | 47

@ vk 42

re Benny Gantz: don't remember the source or site, but I read sometime within the last year about Gantz and he was portrayed as very hard-line and not likely to decrease Israeli militarism, esp. towards Palestinians. Could you confirm or update that? I don't try to divine Israeli politics beyond what is offered up on US ("progressive") news/opinion sites, because I don't know what/whom to trust.

Was hoping someone here might raise a warning flag about pinning de-militarization hopes on Gantz.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 22 2019 15:48 utc | 48

Was hoping someone here might raise a warning flag about pinning de-militarization hopes on Gantz.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 22 2019 15:48 utc | 48

Really? Was anybody foolishly suggesting Gantz would be less militaristic? That seems unlikely.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2019 16:00 utc | 49

WJ@47 - What's to think about? The US is a statist cult - you only have to believe, not think. Voting and Laws have magical powers to fix ANYTHING for the people in the US. If there are really any problems with our country, then it's the little people's fault for not invoking the Sacred Voting Rituals or performing the Mystical Rites of Lawmaking and Sacrifice properly.

It would be different if the US was a constitutional representative republic and the people had no powerful magic rituals to fix anything. That would be horrible!

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 22 2019 16:23 utc | 50

@ Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 22 2019 15:48 utc | 48

Well, Gantz is an ex-general (if I'm not mistaken).

But even if he wasn't you still have to face the fact that Israel's structural problems would still be there with Gantz as PM. The demographic time bomb would still be there. Rising inequality would still be there. Economic stagnation would still be there. All of those problems existed before Netanyahu and will continue to exist after him.

All these problems could be solved, theoretically, through territorial expansion. Hence the extermination of the Palestinians and the colonisation of the West Bank (which they call "Judea and Samaria"). The big problem, though is that this expansion has a wall: Saudi Arabia to the Southeast (maybe the only ally more important than Israel to the USA); Egypt to the southwest (another key American ally) and, mainly, Iran (and its buffer State, Syria) to the East. Since Israel can't touch Saudi Arabia and Egypt, all its wrath is concentrated on Iran.

But the main problem with Israel is that, deep down, it is just a figment of American imagination. The Israeli utopia is just that, an utopia.

Posted by: vk | Nov 22 2019 16:38 utc | 51

@ Laguerre 49

Really? Was anybody foolishly suggesting Gantz would be less militaristic? That seems unlikely.

I don't believe that Gantz would be kinder. However see my link at 10 the October 2019 interview on a range of topics with former PM Ehud Olmert:

[That] a third-round may produce “somewhat different results” possibly allowing Gantz to form a new government.

This could have positive implications for the Palestinian conflict. A Gantz-led administration would, “certainly be better for the peace process than the government of Netanyahu,” Olmert said.[.]


Bibi is finished. Can't see any coalition with him under criminal indictment. Today the Opposition bloc called for his resignation from all ministerial posts.

A JPost editorial had this:Netanyahu: It is time to step down.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 22 2019 16:38 utc | 52

b, if you're scanning this thread, a respectful request: with all of the turmoil and "activity" that we can only speculate about, all of the seeming storm clouds gathering, it might be of great help to your community here and the greater world community to put together as best as possible a report on all US military preparations/operations underway at this time.

Many things can be interpreted several different ways, but without this critical information we can only speculate, not raise an alarm, or resist, if indications demand such.

If the US does attack Iran I believe that it won't happen as did Iraq with a long and open preparation and launch. Rather, Iran would already be demolished and in flames before we were told of it. Possibly the entire region would be in flames, and then what...

You hinted at this in your last line above. A big war on Iran only goes through the US military, though Israeli guerrillas/special forces would be on the ground (possibly/probably already are.) Riots create great cover and distraction for infiltration. Iranians aren't stupid, but they are severely stressed and tightly squeezed.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 22 2019 16:43 utc | 53

"...It is almost as if the citizens of the US *cannot* be allowed to enjoy even such minimal benefits as Medicare for All, pensions, etc. of the sort enjoyed by the citizens of the US client states because their doing so is in some way incompatible with the US' military and financial hegemony..." WJ@47

It is very simple: the US is the heartland of the system. Whenever socio-economic reforms make gains elsewhere. (As in the post 1945 UK, for example, western Europe and the Canadian Health care system), the fightback by caitalists, ideologically and practically, has a base in the US.
This currently not only in the UK, where the NHS is under threat, and is increasingly being privatised by US Healthcare contractors, but in Canada where there is a systematic campaign to open up a thin wedge of privatised medicine in order to dismantle the current public system and in Europe, generally, from France-where the 'reformer' Macron is hard at work privatising- to the east, Ukraine for example where a functioning public healthcare system is being broken up, under US pressure(it is one of the stories that the Impeachment hearings is not telling), where the soviet style public health systems, which were extremely efficient, are almost all gone now.
And then there is Latin America where every right wing coup is followed by the expulsion of hundreds of Cuban doctors providing cheap healthcare to people who had never seen a doctor before.

Capitalism is a cannibal system and the poor are the primary item in its diet- pending money on their health is ridiculous, quite apart from the fact that there is no more efficient way of stripping people of their wealth and independence than a medical bill.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 22 2019 16:45 utc | 54

It is worse than that, the EUrocrats have managed to impose normalization against their own "international legal standards"
As a result, Israeli and Turkish universities are funded by EU taxpayers!
When did we vote for that?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 22 2019 16:56 utc | 55

20;trump tower?he would be in China?hahaha.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 22 2019 16:58 utc | 56

An essay written about apartheid South Africa back in the late 1970s-early '80s put forth the idea that the Afrikaners garrison state had become their own prison, that they'd become captured or even victims by/of their hatred. That the only way they could ever hope to enjoy freedom was for all South Africans to be equal, that their hatred was more damaging to them than the objects of that hate. There was great Truth embodied in that essay and it opened the eyes of many Afrikaners and shifted their outlook. The settlers inhabiting Occupied Palestine are in the same boat, and a significant percentage acknowledge that reality. But those enlightened are not yet sufficient to overturn the garrison state attitude of the two dominant political coalitions that are unable to form a government since their position's are eroding versus the enlightened. Indeed, the most ironic aspect of their current dilemma is the need for one of the coalitions to get the hated and despised to join them so a government can be formed, but they refuse because they're hated and despised by those coalitions.

Ultimately, the settlers of Occupied Palestine have only one way out of their dilemma, which is to follow the same path trod by the Afrikaners. Thus, the indoctrinated bigotry sown over several generations must be eradicated and more people enlightened so they can free themselves from the bondage they've imposed on themselves in the guise of attempting to make a segregated existence functional. Occupied Palestine's corrupt politicos reflect the disgusting corruptness of the society and culture they've constructed which will only worsen until the current path's abandoned and the road to 100% emancipation's chosen. Alas, this sermon is unlikely to be read by those most in need of hearing it, and most barflies already know of its veracity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 22 2019 17:08 utc | 57

@ 48 vinnioh, laguerre, likklemore, vk and etc -

"Was anybody foolishly suggesting Gantz would be less militaristic? That seems unlikely." sort of along the same lines as expecting the next president of the usa to be any different in any relevant context... ain't gonna happen...both countries have dug a trench too deep to get out of it easily..

@ 47 wg aside from paveways response - humourous and relevant, bevin @54 has the answer i associate with.. capitalism can't thrive in a world where society looks after others... you are supposed to pay for that.. any idea that a society would look after its own has to be replaced with a pharmaceutical company pulling the politicians strings behind the democracy facade... and etc. etc. etc.. i think the usa has to crash and burn before anything positive can happen...

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2019 17:19 utc | 58

bevin: and we're in the midst of the Medicare sign-up window here and big insurance is full blast trying to get everyone on "Medicare Advantage" where everything is promised - and maybe even free! - except a pony. According to the AG of HHR even before this latest push, the "Advantage" plans were a growing disaster, over-charging (enrollees and the government) and underperforming (for the health of said enrollees.) Try reading the fine print on those TV ads. I believe I saw one the other day that said "Permitted by law"... said the spider to the fly.

I hesitate to call it sophisticated, because it all seems so effing transparent, but "Part C" has little to do with healthcare and everything to do with private insurance. It is an enacted loophole (signed by Trump?) intended to bleed the enrollee pools in other more restricted parts of Medicare and the ACA. Just as was done with Glass-Stegal, which was loopholed to death before Clinton et al administered the coup de gras, both Medicare and whatever good the ACA might have done are being dismantled. Also, from what I've seen the advantage plans are all "in network" which will only benefit big pharma and corporate shareholders (and their technocrati CEO's,CFO's etc.) Can you say "Corporate Death Panels"?

james - was composing this as you posted yours; yes bevin got to the heart of it.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 22 2019 17:49 utc | 59

i remember he pushed his own shrink to suicide... that shrink said he couldn't deal with him, not human, pure evil. does anyone else remember that story ?

Posted by: alain | Nov 22 2019 18:03 utc | 60

Israel's GDP growth rates are meaningless without context.
Israel's population grows around 2% a year, thus a 2% GDP growth rate is the long term average if the economy is purely staying even. If their population was older, the mortality rate would need to be subtracted - but it is very low now.
Factor in the $3.5B or $3.8B per year which the US sends to Israel - that's 3% right there (Israel GDP is around $350B).
In contrast, South Korea's population growth rate is 0.7% per year, while US aid to South Korea is under $1M a year. South Korea has thus generated a lot more real growth than Israel - although their numbers are skewed by the Korean population donating 226 metric tons of gold in 2 months (!) to relieve the foreign currency crisis in 1998 and a partial recapitalization. This echoes an earlier episode where the population similarly sacrificed to pay off debts owed to Japan in 1907.
US birth rates, in contrast, are in the low 1.x percent but supplemented by significant immigration.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 22 2019 19:23 utc | 61

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 22 2019 19:23 utc | 61

I doubt that the Israeli economy is genuinely an issue at the moment. It would only become significant, if there were large-scale emigration following threats to the stability of the country. The Westerners, including the Russians, are happy to live and work there, as long as they can live a peaceful life, as in the States or Europe. But they've all got two passports, as we discovered in 2006. Going out to fight, like the kibbutzniks in 1948 and 1967, is not the idea. Netanyahu knows this, I think, and it's one of the reasons there can't be a big war to keep him in power.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2019 19:59 utc | 62

I wasn’t commenting on the economic prosperity or lack thereof of Israel, just pointing out the context in which economic growth numbers should be taken in context with.
Anecdotally, the 2 passport holder Israelis are (at least some) using Israel as a flight haven and/or tax haven, but I have no idea how much this means in the overall context.
What is clear is that the Israeli economy isn’t doing great or particularly badly, but that’s actually negative given the enormous subsidies it receives from the US and it’s expats.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 22 2019 20:13 utc | 63

@ Posted by: c1ue | Nov 22 2019 19:23 utc | 61

Yes. That's called vegetative growth. In capitalism, human beings are also commodities like any other, so the mere existance of more human beings already prop up GDP figures.

Most of the USA's growth since 2009 has been vegetative. It has been the developed country with the largest demographic bonus since then, thanks to mass immigration from Central America.

If you take out vegetative growth, the USA has been barely growing 1,0% per year since at least the beginning of the Trump era.

Posted by: vk | Nov 22 2019 20:54 utc | 64

alain @60

Psychiatrist of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Commits Suicide

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 22 2019 21:01 utc | 65

Netanyahu's psychiatrist commits suicide.

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 22 2019 21:04 utc | 66

Two comments not published. Forbidden territory?

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 22 2019 21:11 utc | 67

@vk #64
I would actually argue US “real” GDP growth in the last 20-30 years is negative.
Much of the actual increase is due to the financialization of the US economy, going from under 10% of the economy to over 40%.
Offshoring of production and wage stagnation are one consequence, as are the low productivity growth numbers.
The conclusion I draw is parasitation as opposed to passivity or staying even.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 22 2019 21:22 utc | 68

alain @60

I found the 2010 story you referenced but it (apparently) can't be published on this site. Perhaps that is because of punitive German laws?

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 22 2019 22:06 utc | 69

Apparently there were allegations in 2014 that the psychiatrist story was disinformation.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 22 2019 22:43 utc | 70

Big difference between South Africa when apartheid ended and Israel today: by that point, the U.S. was boycotting South Africa.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 22 2019 22:50 utc | 71

lysias @68

Yes. satire (Or, as you write, disinformation.)

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 22 2019 22:52 utc | 72

None of OUR concern .... quit giving Israel weapons and money and tell Trump to PUT AMERICA FIRST.

Posted by: Don Carter | Nov 22 2019 22:54 utc | 73

Upthread I linked to an interview given by former PM Olmert (October 2019) predicting Bibi will be indicted and that he is finished. Earlier today (Friday) Bibi said his goodbyes on FB. Politicians always deny resigning before they do.

This evening JPost reports citing Channel 12: Likud officials preparing for alternative to Netanyahu after indictments
Channel 12 reports that senior Likud officials are beginning to talk about alternatives to Netanyahu, following indictment announcement on Thursday.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 22 2019 23:13 utc | 74

@72 da rasclat is a gone.. Awo.

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 23 2019 0:38 utc | 75

Pogohere @ 74:

Thanks for the links. I have some of the articles in that series Ramin Mazaheri wrote.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 23 2019 4:39 utc | 77

evelyn @70

Thanks, a satire indeed.

Posted by: alain | Nov 23 2019 8:20 utc | 78

>>> *$3.8 Billion + $10 Billion* <<<

Let's call it $14,000,000,000 for simplicity's sake.
From the jUSA, only!
According to Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D. :

"Jewish groups in the United States are adept at creating mechanisms that benefit themselves and also frequently Israel at the expense of the American taxpayer.... order to be able to influence public opinion while also obtaining special favors from government, one might cite specific instances where that has most definitely been the case. Jewish organizations receive over 90% of discretionary grants from the Department of Homeland Security, for example, and Israel benefits from $3.8 billion in aid annually plus another $10 billion through bogus charities, trade concessions and U.S. government funded projects approved by Congress that the American public knows little or nothing about...".

Giraldi has beeen saying the real figures for quite a few years now.
A few years ago the 'extra' was $8 Billion.
Now it's $10 Billion.

Please. People. Get Informed!
As always, a big Thanks to *b*.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Nov 23 2019 11:00 utc | 79

thanks evelyn... that was funny and true sounding too..

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2019 17:38 utc | 80

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