--Haaretz+ political commentator, Yossi Verter, writes that frustrated Likud ministers see there is now a possibility of moving up the party ladder, due to the investigations into their party leader, but they cannot say anything that would imply disloyalty toward Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu while he fights for his political life because they will immediately be denounced as traitors.
You Must Be Kidding:
The man who heads the Finance Ministry department that enforces planning and construction laws lives in an illegal West Bank settlement outpost.
--Avi Cohen is that man: a settler who lives in Palgei Mayim, an outpost of the Eli settlement.**
- Milchan: The Netanyahu couple demanded the cigars and champagne; the orders were made through code names – ‘pinks and leaves’
- For them it’s over // Yossi Verter
- The Mossad chief headache // Amir Oren
- Head of the unit for enforcement of illegal construction lives in an illegal home (in West Bank outpost)
- The running over (of a policeman) in the south: Police officers testified that they shot at the car and not in the air (Hebrew)
- Police revealed that public funds raised by (Housing Minister Uri) Ariel were transferred to a private (Israeli) company in the West Bank – and the minister was not investigated about it
- The security establishment warns about canceling the nuclear agreement (with Iran)
- Donald Trump will be sworn-in today as the 45th president of the USA // Chemi Shalev and Amir Tibon
- In the fire department report on the wave of fires, there is no evidence of mass arson
- “Ashkenazi or a fair Mizrachi”: A peek into the adoption market in the 40’s and 50’s
- The Trump era
- Good luck, Mr. President // Eitan Haber
- Cancerous growth removed from IDF Chief of Staff’s body
- Justice Minister initiating: Limiting term of Prime Minister in exchange for postponing investigations
- The Trump era
- Time for new ideas // Gideon Saar
- Cancerous growth removed from Chief of Staff
- Last honor – Thousands of Israelis fulfilled the request of the mother of Sgt. VIazsalav Gregory and attended his funeral. He was killed Monday while doing maintenance on an APC
- Cabinet approved the arrangement for defense from suits against Israeli banks that work with Palestinians
- The investigations effect – Only 26% believe that “there will be nothing because there was nothing” [Netanyahu said about investigations]; Yesh Atid party continues to lead in the mandates
- The rule-fortune-newspaper affair – State Prosecutor: “There is a difference between evidence for investigation and evidence for an indictment”
- Hassan Beck: Hezbollah’s updated targets bank has been exposed
- The Jerusalem question: What do the ’67 liberators think about the attack in 2017?
- You just wait: The professor decided that Yair Netanyahu is the next thing // Liora – the gossip section
- Salute on the way to swearing-in [Photo of Trump and wife]
- Cancerous prostrate growth removed from Chief of Staff
- Ahead of the stage of statements for punishment: Prosecution considering demanding 3-5 years prison for Elor Azariya
- Military bands cost hundreds of thousands of shekels a year. Are they really needed?
- The pain that doesn’t end – Family of Erez Orbach, who was murdered in an attack in Jerusalem, lives with the mourning for 50 years
- With a strong hand – Eliad Mizrachi was born with limitations to his hand and fought to serve as a combat soldier – until he won
- The 45th President: A new era begins in Washington // Boaz Bismuth and Avraham Ben-Zvi
The beginning of the Trump era, the removal of a cancerous tumor from the IDF Chief of Staff and the latest on the Netanyahu investigations were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, Channel 2 revealed that in the deadly incident in the Bedouin village of Um al-Hiran this week, police officers testified that they did shoot first at the car of the Bedouin man before it rammed into a police officer, in contrast to police statements otherwise; his family is demanding an investigation. And the military prosecution wants convicted soldier Sgt. Elor Azariya to serve 3-5 years in prison.
Yedioth’s Orly Azoulay on the Trump era:
“Today a President who made history will leave the White House and in his stead will enter a President who made a completely different kind of history. The intellectual charisma of Barack Obama will be replaced by the confidence and aggressiveness of Donald Trump, the light and effortless style will be replaced by a short fuse and a big mouth.”
On the Netanyahu investigations:
Haaretz+’s Yossi Verter writes that “The political arena is in the meantime gearing up for elections next September-October. The prevailing view is that a decision about whether to indict the premier will be made in May-June, the Knesset will be dissolved and elections held about 100 days later. That’s the working assumption of three coalition party leaders who regularly exchange views.” Also, the State Attorney will decide whether to launch a probe against Mossad director Yossi Cohen for receiving illicit gifts from Australian billionaire James Packer. Haaretz+’s Amir Oren writes that as “Yossi Cohen's ties to Netanyahu's rich friends come to light, shadows lengthen over the night he was tapped to lead Israel's spy agency. If a link could be established, Israel may see both its prime minister and its Mossad chief gone in one fell swoop.”
And on Netanyahu’s son, Yair, Yedioth’s Nahum Barnea writes that the claim by Netanyahu’s PR people that the gifts that Netanyahu and his family received “were between friends” and were reciprocated is ridiculous. “(Arnon) Milchan and (Australian tycoon James) Packer don’t make visits (to the PM). And when the supply of cigars and champagne empties, whoever needs to make a call to whoever needs to be called, a new monthly order is made, the driver of the giver or the receiver makes the transfer, and the bill is written accordingly.” Barnea writes that Israelis are not so stupid to believe Netanyahu’s son, Yair, who testified before police this week that his father has no connection to his own friendship with Packer and that his father had no idea that the Australian tycoon is funding Yair with first class flights, yacht trips, living in his luxury apartment, and enormous plates of sushi delivered to the office of the IDF Spokesman’s Unit, while Yair served there, among other things. “The claim that the gifts were given without getting in return is ridiculous,” writes Barnea. “Even billionaires don’t give presents in those amounts. And the absurd is that statement that Netanyahu did not know about the gifts to his son. Who is the idiot who would shower on Yair all that good without his father – and more importantly his mother – knowing.”
A Maariv survey found that 57% of the public believe there is a basis to the suspicions against Netanyahu. Only 28% believe Netanyahu that there is nothing behind them. Yesh Atid party is leading with 26 mandates if elections were held now and Likud trails with 23. The Labor party would get only 9, but if it were led by former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi it would get 15 seats.