Opinion: The Worst National Security Corruption Case in Israel's History (excerpt)
(Source: Haaretz; published Nov. 17, 2020)
By Akiva Eldar, Gilead Sher and Uzi Arad
“Case 3000” – the submarines and war ships affair – is not just another “ordinary” corruption scandal, which relates primarily to unethical practices. Rather, it is Grand Corruption combined with Defense Corruption, both having severe legal implications.

Grand Corruption is defined as a scheme perpetrated at the highest levels of government, involving leaders and senior officials. It usually entails substantial benefits for the individuals involved and significant losses for the state. It also leads to illicit exchanges in the realm of policy formation. Such corruption causes egregious harm to citizens but regrettably often ends with impunity.

The common denominator to all transactions in Case 3000 is that they all belong to the defense sector involving the acquisition of major weapon systems. The suspects in the affair are senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, relatives of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as senior naval officers. All the acquisitions lead to the German Thyssenkrupp conglomerate.

In several of these transactions, Netanyahu took decisions which contradicted the official stance of the military and defense establishment. The decision-making process undermined the binding procedure for strategic and defense procurement.

One such decision related to the acquisition of a sixth submarine shortly after the defense establishment had determined that five submarines should suffice Israel's military needs. The second decision dealt with the accelerated ordering of future submarines, 7, 8 and 9, despite opposition from the IDF chief of the general staff and the defense establishment who claimed such ordering is premature.

Then there was another Netanyahu decision to [waive] Israeli opposition to the supply of advanced German submarines to Egypt, while concealing that decision from the defense establishment. Such supply apparently gave rise to the consideration of Israel purchasing anti-submarine vessels, something the Israel Navy never demanded – ostensibly to defend the sea lanes from the growing Egyptian submarine fleet.

On top of it, was the distorted decision process to acquire four patrol boats to protect Israel's economic waters? How come such large, heavy and expensive craft were ordered from Thyssenkrupp, when boats that meet operational requirements as defined could have been acquired from another supplier and at lower cost? Why was the international bidding process canceled, with Thyssenkrupp becoming sole supplier of these boats? (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Haaretz website.


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