Israel Resource Review 6th January, 2006


Ariel Sharon: Dead or Clinically Dead?

January 6th, 2006

Israel Resource News Agency confirms that at about noon on January 5th , Israel time, doctors at Hadassah Hospital and security officials at the Israel Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv were simultaneously informed that Prime Minister Sharon had died during surgery shortly before 11:00 a.m.

Israel Resource News Agency spoke again with officials from both Hadassah and the Israel Ministry of Defence who were officially informed at noon of Sharon's death.

That begs the question: why does the government of Israel not convey reports of Sharon's death?

There are two possible explanations.

One is that, for whatever reason, the government is withholding the report.

The other explanation is that Sharon has been placed on a life support system, and that Sharon is "only" clinically dead.

David Bedein Bureau Chief Israel Resource News Agency

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The Hurdles Faced by Sharon ( published on the day of his massive stroke)
Dan Margolit
Columnist, Maariv

1. Prima Facie Again

This is it. Even the police are suspicious now. Finally. His guilt has not been proven conclusively, and an indictment has not yet been served. But it is no longer a matter for several reporters and politicians and evil-minded people, but rather the arm that investigates the rule of law has cast suspicion upon the prime minister. It has found prima facie evidence that Ariel Sharon received bribes in the amount of USD 3 million, and it connects it to the family of Martin Schlaff, who has stopped visiting Israel and also sold his villa in Herzliya, but whose brother James visited here a week ago, and that is only the beginning of the end. As of now, everything is "prima facie" and "as yet unproven," and "understanding" and "criminal intent" are necessary, but who will believe that so many events occurred by chance? The chance that Sharon did not know and/or did not hear and/or did not mean it are close to nil. "Will two walk together, except they have agreed?" [Amos 3:3] Sharon and Schlaff. Sharon and Cyril Kern. Sharon and Sharon number two.

Sharon and Sharon number three.

But nothing will help. Those of the "etrog" persuasion will mobilize for battle. They will stand up to defend him. For the sake of policy. For the sake of security. For the sake of stability on the stock market.

They do not care about the corruption. Purity of thought and innocence are far from them. They look down on those who fight corruption, presenting them as just a bunch of obsessive people. They are the heralds of "the laws of the king" as it is brilliantly described in the Book of Samuel [1 Samuel 8:10-18]. Arik is suspected of corruption? Is he suspected more now than he was before? No worries-Kadima will go up another seat in the polls.

2. The Sins of Omri

Omri Sharon, who resigned from the Knesset yesterday, was a romantic who pursued scattered flowers on country paths until he sinned a bit, and afterwards sinned a great deal by committing perjury and false registry of corporate documents, and as the years went by intensified the plague of corruption by taking over institutions, jobs and budgets for the sake of the politics of Shikmim Farm and those who frequented it, and even sinned by agreeing to be sacrificed in his father's stead upon the altar of the remnants of the rule of law in order to continue to hold power.

His father, Ariel Sharon, who has founding shares and perpetual rights in fortifying national security and in the grand process of reducing Israel's control over another people, unblinkingly foiled every bill for the cleansing of political and public life, emerging from the criminal investigations by the skin of his teeth. I do not believe that corruption's free-for-all at Shikmim Farm will stop even now, with the exposure of the Schlaff document. Two days after Omri, who was convicted of criminal activity, announced his resignation from the Knesset, his father will enter the hospital for a procedure that we all hope will be successful and grant him good health for many more years. But for several hours he will be in the most foreign place of all to him, in the loss of self-control that stems from invasive medical intervention. And yes, Israeli reality creates in 48 hours an existence with which no modern author's imagination can compete.

3. The Likud Needs an Angioplasty

A citizen wakes up in the morning and realizes that the Likud Central Committee is not the leading brand of corruption of the formerly glorious party. The Central Committee is only a secondary interest. The ministers are the brand name. They know that the large party cannot fight over the leadership of the country from inside the government. That is unethical. Inefficient. Not credible. But they sold their souls for their seats, and even though they know that being in the government will damage their party, they are incapable of giving them up. In exchange for three more months they are willing to sabotage their political struggle during an election period. They have forgone their honor. Without the title of minister they go into withdrawal, to the point where they fight a losing battle with Binyamin Netanyahu over the matter. Like those who have lost their self-respect and harass passersby downtown for cash to buy drugs. In sight of everyone.

Netanyahu, too, should realize that what he did to cleanse the Central Committee of criminals is not enough to restore his party's honor. The Likud needs an angioplasty in order to locate the blockages in its political arteries. It is impossible to lead an opposition with such a team. Its members suffer from a terrible disease-ministerial addicts' syndrome.

This ran in Maariv on January 4th, 2006

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Sharon's Plans (published on the day of his massive stroke
Hagai Huberman
Columnist, Columnist, Hatzofeh

Sharon's pet reporter, Ben Caspit, published the "road map bang" plan this week in Ma'ariv-Sharon's foreign policy plan. Caspit's "scoops," in most cases, are test balloons put out by the prime minister, in order to see how policy ideas are accepted by the public. According to Caspit, Israel and the US will reach an agreement amongst themselves on an Israeli withdrawal to the route of the separation fence, which will be an agreed-upon border, and all the settlements east of the fence will be evacuated with US funding.

The United States will also recognize the annexation of the settlement blocs, and the annexation of the Old City in Jerusalem.

"In return, the United States will sign an agreement totally rejecting the Palestinian right of return (an achievement which we have not yet obtained from the Bush administration, even though Sharon's spin doctors would have it that Bush did agree to this in his letter of last year), and American endorsement of Israeli sovereignty in the entire Old City of Jerusalem, while all the Arab neighborhoods in the city will be handed over to the authority of the Palestinian Authority." Here are two important revelations by Caspit: A. Sharon is indeed planning a withdrawal from Jerusalem neighborhoods, as Kalman Gayer revealed, and contrary to the denials of Sharon's aides; B. The claim that in return for disengagement Israel obtained the unprecedented political achievement of a complete US rejection of the right of return in President Bush's letter, was no more than a media spin by Sharon's associates. Caspit sees fit to point out: "It is important to note here that the Americans have not yet given their agreement to this plan. Senior administration officials listened to it with interest, made some comments but did not say they accept it or are even inclined to accept it. On the other hand, the plan appeared in an interesting and detailed form in an article in the October edition of the American journal Commentary, which is viewed as the ideological voice of the neo-conservatives, the Bush administration and the Republican party, and it aroused wide interest in the US."

Interpretation of this paragraph: There is no chance that any US administration will adopt this plan. There is no chance that any US administration will agree for the Old City of Jerusalem to remain under Israeli sovereignty without an agreement with the Palestinians (which is, of course, an imaginary scenario).

There is no chance that the US will spend even one penny to fund the evacuation of settlements in Judea and Samaria or anywhere else (it refused to finance the uprooting of the Yamit region, even when it paid for establishing IDF bases that were evacuated from Sinai, and refused to finance the uprooting of the Gaza Strip, despite Bush's letter). The "beauty" of this plan, if to stay faithful to Caspit's style, is the fact that it is a "bluff" with which it is possible to feed the Israeli public prior to the elections. The danger in this plan is not that it will be implemented, but rather that the Israeli public will swallow this bluff whole, and give a renewed mandate to Sharon, who is the founder of the most corrupt dictatorial administration in the State of Israel's history.

This ran in Hatzofeh on January 4th, 2006

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(Published on the day of Sharon's stroke)
Amir Ben-David
Correspondent. Yediot

For the first time since the investigation began of the forbidden contributions that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon allegedly received in the 1999 Likud primary, the police have announced: "We have evidence of the involvement of James and Martin Schlaff in a transfer of USD 3 million to the prime minister's family, some of which served to finance the return of the illegal contributions that the prime minister had received, and some of which remained in the hands of the Sharon family."

Some two weeks ago, James Schlaff, Martin's brother, came to Israel to visit their 80-year old parents. The National Fraud Squad took advantage of the visit to raid the parents' home in Jerusalem and seized from there a large quantity of documents, two laptop computers, cell phones and palm computers that belong to James. Thus far the material on these has not yet been checked, mainly since Schlaff has turned to the Magistrates Court in Rishon Lezion with a demand that his property be returned.

The police response to the court noted that the confiscated equipment is important for investigating the bribe that Prime Minister Sharon allegedly received from Martin Schlaff. As mentioned above, in this document the police "dropped a bombshell" and admitted for the first time that it has prima facie evidence demonstrating that Schlaff had transferred USD 3 million to Sharon. "We have found the connection between Schlaff and Sharon," said police sources yesterday. However, the detectives underscored that at the present stage it is "much ado about nothing, and there is still no evidence linking the prime minister to taking bribes."

Sharon's associates responded yesterday dismissively to the turn in the investigation, calling the latest development "warmed over leftovers." "The affair arose for the first time before the previous elections, and has miraculously surfaced before the current elections. As far as we are concerned, there is nothing new in this report."

James Schlaff's attorney, Navot Tel Zur, said last night that his client has no connection with the affair. "We have agreed to withdraw the request to return James's computers, in exchange for [a commitment] that the information on them will not be passed on to anyone," said Tel Zur, "following the publication we will now consider how to take action against the police."

For over five years, the police have been investigating the suspicions against Sharon and his sons. The affair began with the establishment of the Annex Research company by figures linked to Omri Sharon. Annex Research is suspected of having served as a straw company, from which funds were transferred to finance Ariel Sharon's party primary campaign in 1999.

Following the exposure of the affair in Yediot Ahronot some five years ago, the state comptroller launched an investigation, and instructed Sharon to return NIS 4.7 million to the state treasury, which he had received from illegal contributions. In order to return the money, the prime minister's son Gilad was forced to ask for a loan from Bank Leumi. Businessman Cyril Kern of South Africa came to the help of the Sharon family, and deposited a similar amount in a bank account in Israel as a guarantee against the loan. But Kern did not stop there, and in total transferred USD 3 million to the Sharon family-approximately NIS 13.5 million at that time.

About two years ago, Ha'aretz published a report that the police requested to carry out a judicial inquiry against Kern, and suspected that he had served as a front man for Austrian billionaire Martin Schlaff. According to the suspicions, Schlaff transferred the millions from his account in Austria to Kern in South Africa, and from there to Israel, in order to cover up the trace. The police also asked to hold a judicial inquiry in Austria, but this did not materialize.

The police suspected that Schlaff had transferred the money to Sharon in order for the latter to help him with his casino business. The Austrian billionaire, who was one of the owners of the casino in Jericho, wanted at a certain stage to receive authorization to operate a gambling ship in the Gulf of Eilat. The detectives assessed that Schlaff may have been trying to enlist Sharon on his behalf.

Schlaff has refrained in recent years from visiting Israel, and senior police officials have already conceded that the investigation has hit a dead end. The requests for judicial inquiries in Austria, Canada and the United States were not granted by these countries, and the investigators said that without permissions from them, "even if there is evidence that Schlaff transferred the money, it still doesn't mean we will be able to prove bribery."

This ran in Yediot Ahronot on January 4th, 2006

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Tova Tzimuki
Senior Correspondent. Yediot

1. The Party Primary

Officials connected to Omri Sharon establish the straw company Annex Research, which transferred illegally donated funds to finance Ariel Sharon's Likud party primary in 1999.

2. The Discovery

Following the exposure of the event on March 2, 2001 in Yedioth Ahronoth, the state comptroller begins an investigation and orders Sharon to return NIS 4.7 million that he received in illegal contributions to the state treasury.

3. The Money

Gilad Sharon takes a loan from Bank Leumi in order to return the money. Cyril Kern transfers NIS 4.7 million to the bank account in Israel as collateral for the loan. Kern does not stop there, and in the end transfers approximately USD 3 million, worth approximately NIS 13.5 million.

4. The Billionaire

Ha'aretz reports that the police sought to hold a judicial inquiry of Cyril Kern in South Africa in order to clarify where he got the money from. The investigators suspected that Kern served as a straw man for the Austrian billionaire Martin Schlaff.

5. The Raid

Martin Schlaff's brother, James, arrives in Israel to visit his parents.

On December 22, 2005 police raid the family home in Jerusalem, confiscating papers and two personal computers belonging to James Schlaff, which allegedly contain information connecting Sharon and Schlaff.

This piece ran in Yediot on January 4th, 2006

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