For the Likud, the Plot Thickens

By Noga Tarnopolsky

Published January 17, 2003, issue of January 17, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Cronyism, influence-peddling, the buying and selling of votes and mobsters in high places: The recent scandals swirling around the Likud Party sound like the stuff of a dozen bad (but must-see) movies. A guide to the episodes and characters:

Primary Colors

A network of behind-the-scenes deal-making and chicanery was revealed when an unknown waitress, Inbal Gavrieli, 27, a party member of only six weeks, placed 29th on Likud’s Knesset list, ahead of Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, among others. Her family has extensive gambling interests and connections with underworld figures. Likud Central Committee figures were forced to resign as a result of the scandal.

Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Naomi Blumenthal was fired by Sharon when she refused to answer police questions about her role in illicitly providing Central Committee members with luxury hotel rooms. Omri Sharon, the prime minister’s son and closest advisor, similarly refused to respond to police questioning but retains his position.

The Greek Tycoons

Media reports and opposition lawmakers charge that Sharon, while serving as foreign minister in the Netanyahu government, inappropriately advanced Tel Aviv businessman David Appel’s commercial interest in acquiring a Greek island — and that Sharon’s younger son, Gilad, was hired to work on the project for a $640,000 salary, with promises of some $3 million more in profits. In 2001, Israel police recommended that Olmert be indicted on the charge of having accepted bribes from Appel, an inveterate wheeler-dealer, whom the police also recommended be put on trial.

Out of South Africa

Authorities are investigating a $1.5 million loan to Sharon or his sons granted by South African businessman Cyril Kern. It’s unclear whether the loan was destined to repay a campaign contribution made by the American firm Annex Research or whether the money was used to offset debts accrued by the Sharon family farm. Israeli law prohibits foreign campaign contributions.

The Conversation

Lior Horev, an advisor to Sharon, is claiming that he has been subjected to surveillance and illegal wiretaps, and points to a videotaped interview with a former police investigator who reportedly describes how the police wiretapped the phones of senior politicians, among them Sharon, Netanyahu and Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman as part of yet another probe.






Find us on Facebook!
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.