Ya'alon: Netanyahu knew everything

After police recommend charges against Netanyahu confidant in submarine scandal, ex-defense minister says PM knew about alleged bribery.

Tzvi Lev ,

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) with Netanyahu (R)
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) with Netanyahu (R)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Former Defense Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon contends that Prime Minister Netanyahu was fully aware that his close confidant and personal lawyer was receiving bribes from a Germany shipyard.

Police on Wednesday had recommended that Netanyahu's cousin and attorney David Shimron be indicted for bribery for his role in the 'Case 3000' investigation. The probe centers around allegations that Shimron pushed for a multi-billion shekel deal to purchase new submarines from German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp, which was a client of Shimron's.

Writing on Facebook, Ya'alon said that police should have interrogated Prime Minister Netanyahu as a suspect. According to Ya'alon, a former IDF Chief of Staff who served as Netanyahu's defense minister from 2013 until 2016, the prime minister was fully aware of the Shimron's activities.

"From the first moment I said that this is the largest and most serious corruption scandal in the history of the state and that there is no chance that the investigation will end without indictments. I was right," wrote Ya'alon.

Ya'alon pointed out while "this was a deal to procure weapons, there is not a single suspect in the Defense Ministry. All the circles of corruption are connected to Netanyahu and his bureau, to his people who preferred money over state security."

"It is not too late to question Netanyahu under caution about the affair," continued Ya'alon. "If so many of his associates, his most trusted associates and confidants, had been interrogated as suspects and now the police were recommending serious indictments against them, how could he not have known?:

"I have no doubt that Netanyahu knew, I have no doubt that Netanyahu must be investigated with caution in the affair. I have no doubt that Israeli citizens deserve to know the truth."

Ya'alon and Netanyahu were once close, but their relationship soured in 2016 in the wake of disagreements over how to best handle the Elor Azariya case. Yaalon had taken an uncompromising stance against the soldier, deeming him 'The soldier who erred,' before the investigation began and criticized Netanyahu for phoning the soldier's father.

Ya'alon also did not chastise the IDF's then-Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany on Holocaust Day in a speech that aroused much public ire.