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The Submarine Inspection Committee: First warnings

Netanyahu. Wikipedia, Kremlin

The State Inquiry Commission, which was established two and a half years ago to investigate the submarine affair, submitted for the first time warning letters to senior figures suspected of committing offenses and being guilty in the committee’s conclusions. The committee, known as the Grunis Committee (after the head of the committee, former Supreme court President Asher Grunis), sent letters to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Defense Minister Moshe ‘Bogi’ Ya’alon, and Yossi Cohen, former Director of the National Security Council and the head of the Mossad.

The submarine affair revolves around a series of security purchases made by the IDF, and the Navy in particular, from the German company Thyssenkrupp between 2009 and 2017. The acquisitions bought the Navy a number of ships and submarines, and the company’s sale of submarines to Egypt was approved; the actions were characterized by disorder and lack of a clear decision-making and prioritization process, in addition to the presence of associates on both sides of the transactions, which raised suspicion of foreign considerations involved in the deals. The affair was exposed by Raviv Drucker in 2016, was under the care of Attorney General Mandelblit for several years, yet was not included in the range of charges filed against Prime Minister Netanyahu.

According to the committee’s conclusions, “Binyamin Netanyahu’s conduct on issues investigated by the committee led to a deep and systematic disruption of work processes and power building and to the impact of decision-making mechanisms on a range of sensitive issues. In doing so, he endangered the security of the state and harmed foreign relations and the economic interests of the State of Israel.” The Prime Minister responded to the letter: “The prime minister states that the submarines are a central element in Israel’s national security and in ensuring its existence against Iran, which is trying to destroy us. The purchase of submarines and vessels not only did not harm the security of the state, it guarantees its existence. History will prove that Prime Minister Netanyahu was right and made the right decisions for Israel’s security.” There is no doubt that Netanyahu is partially right at the end of his remarks – in a complex and confidential affair like this, the ordinary citizen has no great chance of reaching an understanding or attainment, but rather of relying on the systems and leaving the verdict to the law of history.

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