by Roy Tov
Thursday, December 27th, 2012
Lieberman Indictment Exposes Israel as a Police State
The scene seems taken from a John Le Carré book. The Israeli Ambassador to Belarus wanted to give valuable information to his Minister of Foreign Affairs. Aware of the surveillance, they couldn’t trust any place in Israel. Instead, they opted for a private meeting in a dark hotel room in Minsk. Both of them having been born in Communist states, they didn’t trust even that remote location and kept talking nonsense. The ambassador had prepared a note with the message, at a given moment he approached the minister and dropped the note in his hand, attempting what Le Carré calls a “safe-drop.” In October 2008, the event seemed to end properly. On December 16, 2012, it brought to Lieberman’s resignation ahead of the upcoming elections.
In the rarified stratosphere of the 2013 Zionist dream, only two figures are serious candidates to become Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman. Both of them belong to the extreme right and favor violent politics. However, that’s not the reason for their eligibility; after all many such politicians exist in the Israeli political map, even if they are not formally part of the right wing parties, for example Shaul Mofaz. Both Netanyahu and Lieberman are seldom embarrassed by the most awkward situations, giving them a rare resilience to media attacks. In “Israel will win due to Technological Advantage!” I described Netanyahu’s astonishing reaction to the stupor of his crowd during the 1999 campaign. He repeatedly chanted a slogan until his crowd repeated it with demonic strength; they became known as the “Likud Monkeys.” After his resignation Lieberman was criticized harshly by the Labor, Hatnua and Meretz chairwomen. In answer, he called them “The Polish Trio,” term that Israelis will consider a grave insult. Despite his subsequent apology, the three women are unlikely to recover from it; a similar political assassination took place years ago against Shimon Peres.
However, the upcoming elections feature only one serious candidate to become Prime Minister. Lieberman is running as second to Netanyahu in the “Likud-Beiteinu” List and is likely to become the next Minister of Defense despite the indictment. In the 2017 elections, he may run as main candidate to Prime Minister. The Tyranny of Technocrats hates that and begun blocking his way years ago.
There are several parts of Lieberman’s biography that would be interpreted by most Israelis as weak points. It is impossible for such a pushing character to claim that he did his best while in the IDF; he finished his service as a corporal in the Artillery Corps. In other words, he did as little as he could to defend his country. More worrying to the elite of technocrats messing with the country is another event that was unsuccessfully brought to the media attention in 2009. Haaretz—the unofficial Voice of the Shin Beth, the secret police—wrote that Lieberman was involved with the Kach party of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kach was barred from participating in the 1988 elections under the revised Knesset Elections Law, which bans parties that incite racism. It was declared a terrorist organization by the USA in 1994; in 2012, a Jewish Knesset Member was denied a USA visa for belonging to Kach. The accusation of Lieberman was based on the testimony of two senior activists in the movement, Avigdor Eskin and Yosef Dayan. Lieberman denied the story, claiming that it was an “orchestrated provocation.” He might be right; the Israeli administration thrives on them. However, imagine a situation in which the USA Administration will be able to deny entry to Israel’s Prime Minister for his having been a member of a terror organization. The indefatigable conspirators were awed by the method in which Lieberman had blocked their attack, and they begun executing their next sabotage.
Many years ago, Avigdor Lieberman met a Russian immigrant known as “Ze’ev Ben Aryeh” (“Wolf Son-of-a-Lion” in Hebrew); sharing a Communist past, they became personal friends. By the beginning of 2008, Ben Aryeh was the Israeli ambassador to Belarus while Lieberman was the Foreign Affairs Minister. In February, Ben Aryeh received from Israeli authorities a secret envelope to be passed to the local police; its content was related to the investigation of Lieberman. Ben Aryeh found it impossible to warn Lieberman, leading to the scene opening this article.
This was when Lieberman was trapped. As a thank you, he promoted Ben Aryeh to Councilor in the Policy Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In October 2009, an inner committee of the ministry nominated Ben Aryeh as ambassador to Latvia. In December, the issue reached the government, which approved with the condition that Ben Aryeh will pass a security check by the Shin Beth.
During the polygraph test, Ben Aryeh confessed that he had warned Lieberman. In May 2012, he was convicted and sentenced to four months of community works. Subsequently, charges were placed against Lieberman, who resigned his post days before the elections. If found guilty of charges with include moral turpitude, he will be banned of being part of a government for seven years.
Ben Aryeh’s testimony was not enough to indict Lieberman. After all, one cannot be blamed for the crimes committed by others. Ben Aryeh was at fault, not Lieberman. The plot thickens at this point. The entrapment of Lieberman was accomplished by his deputy, Danny Ayalon. In contrast to Lieberman, Ayalon is at the heart of the Israeli establishment, enjoying good relations with the Shin Beth. They would never request a polygraph test from him; most probably he doubled as an informant, he has the typical profile of one. After Ben Aryeh’s fall, Ayalon run to the police and told them that Lieberman was active in appointing Ze’ev Ben Aryeh as ambassador to Latvia, apart from Lieberman’s concealing the fact that he was briefed by the former Belarus ambassador about the investigation against him. This combination was enough to indict Lieberman. Ayalon headed at the time the Foreign Ministry’s selection committee for diplomats; thus his testimony was crucial. This was formally acknowledged by the police and indirectly by Lieberman, who removed Ayalon from the list to the next Knesset. Ayalon “issued a statement saying he was thankful for the opportunity to serve as deputy foreign minister for four years;” without being a member of the Knesset he won’t be able to keep his actual post as Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister.
There are two important signs regarding the possible outcome of the affair. Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that as number two in his list, Lieberman will be able to choose any portfolio he likes in the next government. Lieberman is unlikely to look at ministries less weighty than those he had already filled. He will ask to be Minister of Defense and probably get it. Netanyahu ignores the odd investigation, which is clearly politically motivated; similar tactics were used by the Shin Beth for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Moreover, Lieberman had not been removed from the list to the Knesset and is active in the campaign. As in 2009, the Zion Elders of the unholy Polish Trio, the police, the Shin Beth and their illegitimate network of entrapment spies, is about to get a surprise. Isn’t it so, Mr. Lieberman?