Germany said to approve controversial submarine deal with Israel

Germany has secretly approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel for the construction of three dolphin type submarines that will be added to Israel’s fleet of six submarines despite an ongoing corruption investigation into the deal, Hebrew media reported on Friday.

Germany had held up the signing of the deal amid an ongoing and wide-ranging corruption investigation in Israel into a series of naval contracts signed between the two countries.

According to the reports citing Israeli officials, over the past few weeks the text of the MOU was amended to include a paragraph saying it will not be advanced so long as the investigation continues. It also gives Germany the right to withdraw from the deal if any criminal activity is found, the Ynet news site reported.

President Reuven Rivlin, on a recent visit to Germany, defined the submarines as an existential need for Israel.

While Germany stressed on Friday that an agreement had not been finalised and signed, Israeli officials implied it was a done deal.

“The Germans have given their approval to the deal,” an Israeli official familiar with the issue told AFP condition of anonymity.

Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, who was a senior commander in the Israeli navy, “welcomed the German approval” to allow the purchase of the three submarines.

In a tweet, Gallant said the three new submarines would replace three old ones in a decade and bring the number of new submarines at Israel’s disposal to six.

Germany, however, stressed that the deal on the three submarines “is not yet signed.”

“We had other talks about it, but a deal was not made until now,” a spokesman for the German government told AFP.

The three additional submarines will cost 2 billion euros. All changes in the MOU were done at Berlin’s behest, Channel 2 reported.

The corruption case centers around  Miki Ganor, who had been the local representative of German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp. After being identified as a key suspect in the case, Ganor turned state’s witness in July.

Investigators suspect that Ganor, along with former National Security Council deputy head Avriel Bar-Yosef, paid bribes in connection with the decision to buy three submarines from ThyssenKrupp, despite opposition from the Defense Ministry.

They also reportedly influenced decisions to buy naval corvettes to protect Israel’s offshore gas fields and awarded ThyssenKrupp a contract to service other naval vessels.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not suspected in the case, his personal lawyer, David Shimron, has been questioned several times by Lahav 433, the police anti-corruption unit.

Ganor has reportedly claimed that Shimron (who was also his attorney) was to receive 20 percent of his own commission of $45 million. Shimron was hired by Ganor to negotiate the ship and submarine purchases.

In a statement given to his attorneys, Shimron reportedly denied he was to receive a cut from the deal beyond his legal fees.

When he turned state’s witness, Ganor was suspected of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit a crime. He has reportedly been transferred to a police safe house.

While police have said several times that Netanyahu is not a suspect, he has been accused of corruption in the deal by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Ya’alon, who was ousted as defense minister last year, was known to have disagreed with Netanyahu over the need to purchase the three extra submarines. The purchase was opposed by parts of the defense establishment, including Ya’alon.

“This was the straw that broke the camel’s back with Netanyahu,” Ya’alon said recently “I had never suspected that he was corrupt. But then he went behind the back of the chief of staff and the head of the navy to sign the deal with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, when the whole professional consensus — from the navy to the Defense Ministry — was that we needed five submarines, not six.”

Netanyahu has dismissed Ya’alon’s comments as “utter garbage.”


Austria’s Savior? Sebastian Kurz (Kike) Shilling for Israel


Sebastian Kurz is set to become the world’s youngest leader in Austria — he heads the conservative People’s Party (OVP) and he poised to be the new Chancellor of Austria. European and American nationalists are ecstatic that he will become “Austria’s savior”.

Well, don’t hold your breath Goyim — he is controlled by the Tribe and this video proves it.



Milos Zeman, president of the Czech Republic, issued a resounding defense of Israel at an address to the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, France earlier this month.

After Zeman’s main address on October 10, John Howell of the United Kingdom asked: “What can you do, and what can we do, to bring peace to the Middle East?”

“My response will be probably [a] deep disappointment for you,” Zeman said. “I am a friend of Israel… deep friend of Israel, and that is why I think that peace in the Middle East [will] be based primarily on the safety of Israel.”

“I know the history of all [the] wars starting [in] 1948,” he continued. “Every war was victorious for Israel, but being defeated would mean the end of this state, the Jewish State, and I think, unfortunately, that in some countries or movements, let us mention Hezbollah, Hamas and others… there survives the tenancy to diminish Israel, to destroy Israel.”

In conclusion, Zeman offered, “What to do in order to have peace in the Middle East? To disarm the terroristic organizations, and first of all, Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Zeman has supported Israel many times in the past, including speaking out against an anti-Israel UNESCO resolution in May. He even proposed moving the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem back in 2013.



Iran will take over the Jordan Valley unless Israel maintains a military and civilian presence in the area, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday night at a jubilee event marking the 50th anniversary of the state’s control of the region.

“If we are not here, Iran and ‘Hamastan’ will be here.

We will not let this happen,” said Netanyahu, as he made a rare visit to the Jordan Valley where some of the first settlements were built after the Six Day War.

The area is beyond the West Bank security barrier, and the future of its settlements was considered tenuous when the Obama administration was in power in Washington. It was feared that Obama’s diplomatic plans included Israel withdrawing from the settlements in the valley while leaving an Israeli military presence there.

Eliciting shouts, whistles and applause, Netanyahu pledged that he would not uproot the Jordan Valley settlements.

“The Jordan Valley will always be part of Israel. We will continue to settle it and invest in its industry and its tourism,” the prime minister said.


The region “has supreme security importance for the State of Israel,” he added.

“The Middle East is fickle and violent. The Jordan Valley is a strategic defensive belt for the state. Without it, a flood of fundamentalism could enter the country and reach as far as the Dan region. That’s why our eastern line of defense begins in this place,” Netanyahu said.

Anyone who questions that need should look no further than Israel’s northern borders, Netanyahu said in reference to Lebanon and Syria.

“We have a clear policy,” he said. “We will harm all those who try to hurt us. We will not accept leakage [occasional attacks]. , and we will do so quickly. But our existence here is not just dependent on the sword – it is also based on building, intelligence and creativity.”

Fifty years ago, when Israel entered the area, it was an “arid and yellow land,” the prime minister said.

In the future, Netanyahu said, he hoped the region, which borders Jordan, could help foster regional cooperation.

“This can be a place of peace and prosperity for all the people in the region,” he said.

Last month he spoke at the national 50th jubilee celebration of settlement in Judea and Samaria that was held in Gush Etzion. He likewise addressed the Samaria celebration that was held in August.

To mark the Jewish New Year, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visited the Jordan Valley in September and similar pledged that it would remain in Israeli hands.

Netanyahu’s speech comes as US President Donald Trump is working to renew the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, which has been frozen since April 2014.



Two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz to congratulate him on his Sunday election victory and applaud Austria for the “long way” it has come in remembering the Holocaust and fighting antisemitism, the country’s Jewish community called on Israel to “respect” its call to Kurz not to include the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) in his coalition.

Kurz is considering forming a governing coalition together with the FPO, a party with which Israel does not formally engage because of its Nazi past and the antisemitic and racist leanings of some its members today. In 1999 Israel recalled its ambassador to Vienna for more than three years because the party, then headed by Joerg Haider, joined the coalition.

In an interview earlier this week with Israel Hayom, Kurz said the fight against antisemitism and “a policy of zero tolerance against any antisemitic tendencies is very important to me.”

This, he said, “is a clear precondition for any coalition that I would lead. There must be no doubt about this at all. None. The FPÖ has in the past shown efforts to fight antisemitism, in its own ranks as well, and I expect them to continue to do so.”

In an email sent on Wednesday to senior officials at the Foreign Ministry, Oskar Deutsch, the president of the Jewish Communities of Austria, wrote that the Jewish community, as well as the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish congress, have called on Kurz not to include the FPÖ in the next government, because “many representatives of the FPÖ,” including its leader Heinz-Christian Strache, have “used antisemitic codes, made extreme right-wing statements and have promoted hatred and racism,” including during the recent electoral campaign.

Furthermore, the letter read, several of the party’s candidates to serve as a minister have in the past “called for the elimination of legislation against Holocaust denial.”

The letter said that the community “calls on all Jewish organizations, members of the Israeli government, political figures and NGOs to respect our position” on the matter.

It said this is also the position of President Reuven Rivlin, who wrote a letter to Deutsch in December 2016 – which Deutsch attached to the email – saying that he was against Israeli engagement with far-right parties in Europe “tainted with a history of antisemitism, Holocaust denial, restrictions on religious practice or the promotion of racial hatred and intolerance.”

Rivlin, quoting from a speech he delivered on Holocaust Remembrance Day, said that no interest of any kind – including professed support for Israel – “can justify a shameful alliance with groups or individuals who fail to recognize responsibility for the crimes of the Holocaust, who take action to silence such recognition, and who envisage recreating such crimes against any foreigner, refugee or migrant who dares, in his view, ‘to contaminate’ their living space.”

Deutsch attached to his email a document listing some 70 examples of what his committee defined as extreme right-wing statements and actions made by FPÖ politicians.

“The FPÖ agitates in a very vicious way against refugees and minorities,” the document concluded. “Racism is the order of the day … Antisemitism also resurfaces over and over again. The FPÖ is working closely with right-wing extremist forces in Austria and abroad, as well as with the authoritarian Putin regime in Russia. The FPÖ shows time and again a close proximity to the Nazi ideology.”

Netanyahu hails US demand that Hamas renounce terror, recognize Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday hailed the US administration for rejecting any Palestinian government in which Hamas plays a role as long as the terrorist group refuses to recognize Israel and disavow violence.

“I am happy that Jason Greenblatt, President [Donald] Trump’s envoy, made it very clear that Hamas must be disarmed, recognize Israel and uphold previous international decisions,” Netanyahu said at ceremony marking 100 years since the death of pre-state underground fighter Sarah Aaronsohn in Zichron Yaakov.

Greenblatt’s statement reiterated that any Palestinian government “must be committed to these principles,” Netanyahu went on. “We want peace. We want a real peace, and exactly because of that we will not conduct negotiations with a terrorist organization in a diplomatic disguise.”

Meanwhile, Greenblatt has traveled to Egypt “to meet with senior officials about the status of reconciliation” between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the Hamas terror organization, a senior US official said Thursday.

Washington is “closely monitoring the reconciliation efforts,” which were signed last week in Cairo, the official said.

Greenblatt will also work with Egypt “on the basic principles outlined in his earlier statement today so we can help facilitate an enduring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Greenblatt had released a statement stressing the importance of the PA assuming “full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza” in order to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians in the coastal strip.

“The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations,” Greenblatt said. “If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements.”

Hamas denounced Greenblatt’s statement.

“This is blatant interference in Palestinian affairs because it is the right of our people to choose its government according to their supreme strategic interests,” said senior Hamas official Bassem Naim.

He accused Greenblatt of bowing to pressure from Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

“This statement comes under pressure from the extreme right-wing Netanyahu government and is in line with the Netanyahu statement from two days ago,” Naim said.



Several years ago, CEO of the Christian network CBN Gordon Robertson came to the same realization as many others before him: Israel has a PR problem.

“When Americans would think of Israel it was always in terms of terror attacks or anti-Israel resolutions at the UN,” Robertson told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, talking over the phone from Jerusalem where he was participating in the four-day annual Christian Media Summit.

In 2013, Robertson decided to do something about it, launching the first in a series of films to educate the public about Israel. The first one, ‘Made in Israel’, showcases Israeli technology and innovation.

“The great technology made in Israel and the amazing innovation, in agriculture for instance, was an untold story,” he said.

A meeting with the Israeli consul general in the US at the time reinforced his belief that such action was needed to try to salvage Israel’s image.

Next came ‘The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel,’ which journeys through the 50 years preceding the founding of the state of Israel, featuring Zionist visionaries and founders of the Jewish state including Theodor Herzl, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and Golda Meir.

‘The Hope’ was followed by ”In Our Hands,” a docudrama which tells the story of Israel’s 55th Paratrooper Brigade in the Battle of Ammunition Hill in the war of 1967. “Most accounts of the Six-Day War are straight documentaries, and The Battle of Ammunition Hill is a sentence or two,” Robertson said with the release of the film earlier this year. “No film we know of actually recreates these pivotal scenes and events with such intense accuracy. For new generations of Jews and Christians, ”In Our Hands” is a must-see.”

“I think it was a surprise [to Israeli participants of the Christian Media Summit] that a Christian broadcasting network put the resources together to put out an accurate history of the Six Day War from the point of the paratroopers,” Robertson told the Post on Tuesday.

The next film the network will release will coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day. The network followed Israeli volunteers and organizations providing humanitarian aid around the world. “I don’t think the majority of people know about this work that Israel does. Most people wouldn’t have a clue that Israel was the second largest provider of aid to victims of the Nepal earthquake, after India,” he said. “I think that’s phenomenal and it’s a story that needs to be told.”

I always think that getting the facts out is the best way to defend Israel, he said, noting that ‘In ours hands’ had the most impact so far, “because it actually portrayed a period of time between 48-67 when Jordan had control of east Jerusalem.

“The facts are quite clear that the Jews were completely barred from east Jerusalem and the West bank,” he continued. “I think that history needs to be told again, particularly in light of the UN resolution last December,” he said, referring to UNSC Resolution 2334 which demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

For Robertson, it’s important that the Israeli government is aware of the friendships it has in the Christian community and “how willing they are to be of help to Israel.”

“I think going forward there is a new awareness within the government and the Foreign Ministry that the Christian media truly wants to be a friend of Israel,” he said.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid reports that Moscow has accepted Israel’s demand for a Hezbollah-and Iranian-free buffer zone along the Syrian border, though not one as deep as Jerusalem had wanted.

Also on Wednesday, Iran’s military chief, Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, met in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Ali Ayoub, and warned Israel against violating Syrian airspace.

“It is not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria anytime it wants,” Bagheri was quoted as saying by Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency.

Meanwhile, according to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, based on an Israeli source, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is visiting Israel, said that Moscow agreed to a 10- to 15-kilometer zone that would be off limits to Iranian and Hezbollah forces along the border on the Golan Heights. The report said that Israel had requested a 40-kilometer buffer zone.

Netanyahu has said in recent weeks that Israel never stipulated to the Russians how deep a buffer zone should be, but made clear to them – including in a meeting he had with Putin during their last meeting in Sochi on August 23 – that Israel would not tolerate a permanent Iranian military presence anywhere in Syria.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman sharpened that message on Wednesday, when he reacted to Iranian threats that Iran would no longer allow Israel to act militarily in Syria.

“The Iranians are trying to take control of Syria, want to establish themselves there and be the dominant force – we will not let that happen,” Liberman said. “We are aware of this, and have all the tools necessary to deal with this challenge.”

And in Syria, the SANA news agency quoted Bagheri as saying, “We are here in Damascus to coordinate and cooperate in facing our common enemies of Zionists and terrorists.” He added that the two sides “discussed means of enhancing relations in the future and outlined the bilateral cooperation.”

According to SANA, Ayoub said that the relations between the Iranian and Syrian militaries have been strengthened since Iran entered the civil war, and will be further enhanced following Bagheri’s visit.

The Kremlin issued a statement on Wednesday saying that Israel initiated the Netanyahu-Putin phone call, and that the two leaders discussed Russian-Israeli cooperation in the context of the agreements they reached in Sochi on August 23.

The details of those agreements were never made public, and the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday did not reply to queries about the nature of those agreements The Kremlin also said that Netanyahu and Putin spoke about “the Syrian settlement, the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the results of a recent referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”

Liberman, meanwhile, denied that there was any disagreement with Russia over a buffer zone, saying these reports were baseless, and he did not know where they were coming from.

According to the report in Asharq al-Awsat, Shoigu told Israeli officials that the 40-km.

demand was unrealistic and that Iranian and Hezbollah troops have not approached the border since Russian troops entered Syria, saying that therefore the request was “exaggerated” and “superfluous.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish state.

Hours before Shoigu landed in Israel on Monday, IAF jets destroyed a Syrian antiaircraft missile battery stationed some 50 kilometers east of Damascus that had fired on Israeli planes in Lebanese airspace earlier that morning.

Israel and Russia implemented a deconfliction mechanism over Syria in 2015 to prevent accidental clashes between the two militaries. And while Russia was updated about the incident in real time, according to the Israeli sources quoted by Asharq al-Awsat, the incident overshadowed the meeting and caused some tension between the officials.

According to the report, Shoigu considered it a “dangerous hostile operation that almost caused a severe crisis.”

Liberman will leave on Wednesday night for a four-day visit to the United States to meet with his American counterpart, James Mattis. During their previous meeting the two defense chiefs discussed issues such as the ongoing civil war in Syria and the threats posed by Iran, and it is believed that Liberman will ask Mattis for the US to act against Iran’s growing entrenchment in Syria.



Israel will not allow a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday, a day after Israel destroyed an SA-5 anti-aircraft battery in Syria that fired on IAF planes over Lebanon.

Both Russia and Iran are key backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, most of the meeting dealt with Iranian efforts to set up a permanent military presence in Syria. “Iran needs to understand that Israel will not allow that,” Netanyahu told Shoigu.

The Iranian nuclear deal and US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to decertify it were also discussed. Netanyahu repeated Israel’s position – if the deal is not changed, Iran will acquire a nuclear arsenal within eight to ten years.

Following Trump’s announcement last week, Russia said there was no place in international diplomacy for aggressive rhetoric, and that Trump’s effort was doomed to fail.

Russian media quoted Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin as saying after the meeting that the two leaders “expressed confidence that the meetings held on Israeli soil will give an additional impetus to the development of Russian-Israeli cooperation.”

Fomin also said they discussed their countries’ shared rejection of antisemitism, falsification of World War II history, and the belittling of the USSR’s decisive contribution to the victory over Nazi Germany.

Shoigu welcomed a law passed by the Knesset on July 27 officially declaring Victory in Europe Day on May 9 as a national holiday, to be commemorated by special programs in the Knesset, the cabinet, schools and the IDF.

Diplomatic officials have said Israel’s recognition of the Red Army’s crucial role in defeating the Nazis has played an important role in the development of strong Israel-Russian ties, as Moscow feels its part in the defeat of the Nazis – and its sacrifice – has been badly downplayed by the West.

In 2012, Israel dedicated a monument in Netanya to the Red Army’s defeat of the Nazis, one of the only countries outside the former Soviet bloc to have done so.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who is hosting the visit and met his Russian counterpart on Monday, also took part in the Netanyahu-Shoigu meeting, after visiting Yad Vashem with Shoigu beforehand.

During his meeting with Liberman on Monday night, Shoigu said the Russian operation in Syria was “nearing completion,” but stressed there were many issues that still needed to be addressed.

“I would like to talk about the situation in Syria. Our operation is going to be finished there and there are a few issues that require [an] urgent solution.

And prospects for further development of the state of affairs in Syria need to be discussed too,” he was quoted as saying by the Russian website Sputnik.

Moscow’s military intervened on behalf of Assad in September 2015. Since then, Israeli and Russian officials have met regularly at the highest levels to discuss the deconfliction mechanism set in place to ensure that Israeli and Russian forces do not accidentally clash over Syria.

Shoigu also said because of the current situation in the Middle East, he hoped his visit and the talks would help to “better understand each other” and contribute to strengthening ties between the armed forces of the two countries.

“As terrorist activities in the world have been increasing, the international community needs to stay united in the struggle against this evil,” he said.

Neither leader directly addressed Monday’s incident in Syria, though the IDF confirmed that the Russians were informed about the launch and retaliatory strike.

Bon Jovi (White Idiot) may be looking to return to Israel

It’s not even winter yet and Bon Jovi is already making plans for next summer.

The New Jersey rockers may return in May 2018 to reprise their successful October 2015 concert, when they drew a crowd of 54,000 to Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, according to a report this week.

Bon Jovi’s 2015 concert was its first-ever performance in Israel, and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi made his support for Israel clear during the concert.

When asked why the band had never played in Israel before, he jokingly pointed at his tour promoter, and said, “Blame Marcel [Abraham], he’s never let us come.”

Bon Jovi also ended the 2015 show with a promise: “I’ll come here any time you want.”

Ynet reported that several Israeli promoters are in talks with the band, but said that Bluestone Group, and veteran promoter Marcel Abraham, will probably bring Bon Jovi back to Tel Aviv.

Bluestone Group’s Facebook page did not include any announcements about Bon Jovi returning next summer.

Ynet also reported that Abraham is working on bringing Robbie Williams to Israel. Williams used to perform with UK boy band Take That, which is coming to perform in Israel in November.

Abraham, 75, has brought Justin Bieber, Sting, 50 Cent and others to Israel in the last decade. Born in Romania, he emigrated to Israel after World War II with his family, before returning to Europe in his 20, where he got hooked on rock ‘n roll and became one of the genre’s first promoters in Israel.