Skip To Content

Blog Describes Bishara Charges

Although Israel-based journalists are barred from publishing the particulars of the Azmi Bishara case, some details have been reported in Arab media outlets and in the blogosphere. One of the most explicit and seemingly reliable accounts appeared in the Tikun Olam Web site of Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein, who is a frequent critic of Israeli policy and is sympathetic to Jewish causes.

Silverstein reports, quoting the Bethlehem-based, nonparty Palestinian news agency Ma’an, that Bishara is under investigation for two suspected violations. He is believed to have accepted $5 million that was passed to him through two East Jerusalem moneychangers. He is also suspected of communicating with Hezbollah representatives during the war in Lebanon last summer. The Ma’an story is based on unidentified Israeli sources.

A separate source, the Hebrew-language Web site Left Bank, reports that Israeli security services have been tapping Bishara’s telephone for the past year. “There is only one way for the Shin Bet to eavesdrop on a Knesset member,” Silverstein reported. “That is by getting approval of the Supreme Court. This indicates that the charges against him are serious and perhaps credible, since they have been vetted by Israel’s highest court.”

According to a third source, whom Silverstein does not name, Bishara is suspected of speaking, during the war, with Lebanese journalists in Cairo and Amman who were allegedly affiliated with Hezbollah.

The $5 million, whose original source remains unclear, is believed to have been taken by Bishara for personal purposes, not political ones, suggesting that the authorities are seeking to build a case of corruption.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover.

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we need 500 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Our Goal: 500 gifts during our Passover Pledge Drive!

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.