Friday, July 19, 2019

Who Benefits in Israel From the Arrest of Jeffrey Epstein?

 Benjamin Netanyahu
By Robert Wenzel

Well, well the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein is big news in Israel and it would seem to benefit Trump's buddy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu.

You see Netanyahu has called for a new election after having failed to form a coalition government after the April election. When calling for the new election, it was thought that the right-wing would do much better than in the previous election and thus make it easier for  Netanyahu to form a coalition government.

From Foreign Affairs magazine:
Despite failing to win a majority in the April elections, Israeli opposition parties of the center and the left didn’t seem to want a re-run; most of their lawmakers voted against the new elections. Ironically, it was the right-wing parties, who won a comfortable 65 seats (out of a total of 120), that voted themselves out of office. They clearly think they can do better. They may be right.
But it appears that Netanyahu now has cold feet.

From The Times Of Israel:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will consider a proposal by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to cancel the September 17 elections, his Likud party said Tuesday.

Likud’s statement came after Channel 12 news reported that Edelstein had launched a “substantial” push to revoke the new national vote through Knesset legislation...

A previous report said the move could be aimed at forming a unity government that includes both Netanyahu’s Likud party and its main rival, Blue and White.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Likud said Netanyahu “has great respect for… Edelstein and will consider his proposal in the coming days.”...

And Yisrael Beytenu, whose political wrangling with Netanyahu precipitated the new elections, said: “What is guiding Netanyahu tonight is not the good of the nation but the fear of losing power.” The party said Netanyahu was “beginning to realize” that Likud might lose power in the next election.
It is unclear if  Netanyahu can legally cancel the election he called for.

So what has changed Netanyahu's thinking about the new election? It is probably the numerous criminal investigations he is under. But also probably because former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak has entered the race.

And here is where the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein comes into the picture.

The Daily Mail reports:
The ever-expanding probe into Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophile ring is now threatening to derail the Israeli election as has obtained exclusive pictures of one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s main challengers  hiding his face as he entered the convicted sex offender’s Manhattan townhouse.
A bevy of young women were also seen going into the multi-millionaire’s lavish seven-story home on the same day that Ehud Barak was snapped.
Barak, a former prime minister of Israel, now trying to make a comeback in Israeli politics, has long had business ties to Epstein, which Netanyahu’s team are now trying to exploit.
And the pictures that has obtained are certain to add fuel to the fire, as Barak claims he has 'never met Epstein in the company of women or young girls.'
The photographs were taken in January 2016 after Epstein, now 66, had returned to New York after an overseas trip. 
Within hours at least four young women had gone to the home that the federal government wants to seize as part of its new case against the financier... 
Barak, now 77, was wearing a camouflage-design neck gaiter which he pulled high over his face almost to his glasses when he went into the East 77th Street mansion. When he came out more than an hour later, he was wearing it on his head. 
He told the Daily Beast he was bundled up against the January New York weather. 'It was so cold the Middle Easterner had to put on a hat.' 

. Photo via Daily Mail
Above a covered-up Ehud Barak enters Epstein's mansion but the girls entering (below) did not look cold.

Photos via Daily Mail
The Daily Mail continues:
Barak, who was Israeli prime minister from 1999-2001 and then defense minister from 2007-2013 has been seen as having a real chance of ending Netanyahu's 10-year reign at the helm of Israeli politics ...Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party has already called for a criminal investigation into Barak's ties to Epstein. The prime minister tweeted that he should investigated 'immediately'.
How convenient for Bibi.

I have thought right from the time the news of Epstein's arrest broke that there had to be some pretty powerful people behind it. Epstein is very powerful in his own right and could have had a lot shut down, so it would have had to have been some players more powerful than him. There aren't many. A Trump-Bibi tag team sounds just about right to pull it off.


From Haaretz:

Barak, Reacting to Epstein Reports, Looked Almost Desperate – for Good Reason

Barak is fighting to stay relevant. He was firing in all directions on Wednesday. He called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son “A lecher and inciter, a parasite who gets Shin Bet protection.” Of Yaakov Litzman he said, “He’s a senior minister who is accused of serially covering up for pedophiles and he’s one of the closest people to Netanyahu.” He described Natan Eshel – yes the same “Smart Natan” as Barak often referred to him affectionately – as a “sex offender who was permanently removed from public service and continues to be [Netanyahu’s] confidante and government builder.” There were other similar pearls that haven’t been heard yet in these parts.

Barak’s goal is to be part of a united list with Labor and Meretz that will run in the coming election. Neither Labor leader Amir Peretz nor Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz are particularly thrilled, to say the least. The recent reports are further weakening the possibility, if there ever was one, that August 1 will find Barak running alongside those two.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.comand Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bankand most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.

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