Globes recently published an article entitled: "The
One Israel party Smoke Screen" about the immunity the left-
wing enjoys in the normally acerbic newspapers of the Jewish
The paper's political correspondent, Zvi Lavi asks: "How come
not even a pinch of the police investigation of the Ehud
Barak--NPO's affair was leaked to the media?
They publicized the investigation of United Torah Judaism MKs
and those of the Center party, who were suspected of
violating the elections and party subsidy laws. But all that
is small fry in comparison with the big scoop.
"What's going on in the Police Department?" Lavi asks. "Why
don't they investigate MK's close to the Prime Minister, as
they do those from other parties?"
Lavi goes on to relate an astonishing story: A few weeks ago
UTJ MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni was summoned to the Police
Investigations Department in Bat Yam on the suspicion that he
had violated some of the election Laws. This included the
conducting of election propaganda by an independant body,
which the police suspected had been promoted on behalf of the
elections headquarters of UTJ.
The investigator told Rabbi Gafni, that MKs from One Israel
were being investigated on election issues at that very same
time in other rooms. Rabbi Gafni indeed heard a familiar
voice from a nearby room, but didn't attach any importance to
His investigation ended, and before he had caught his breath,
he was bombarded by telephone calls from journalists, who
wanted to know what had taken place at the investigation.
Rabbi Gafni was piqued. After all, he hadn't been arrested,
wasn't a suspect, and was even promised that his formal
investigation wouldn't be publicized.
He called the Minister of Internal Security, Shlomo Ben Ami,
from One Israel, who promised to check out the matter. The
following day he replied that this was not a case of leakage
but of deliberate publicity. "For your good," Ben Ami told
him, "in order to prevent damaging rumors.
"Great," Rabbi Gafni replied. "But I wasn't the only one. If
the police are worried about MKs under investigation, why
wasn't there a word about your colleagues from One
He quoted what he heard from the investigator, and what he
had heard himself. He then asked if there was no smoke screen
with respect to the investigation of the Barak NPOs.
Ben Ami fell silent. He seemed shocked, Rabbi Gafni recalled.
After a moment, he told me that he had to investigate the
issue, and promised that he would reply as soon as possible."
Rabbi Gafni is still waiting.
Gidi Weitz, of the Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha'Ir relates
that the police are trying to fog the investigation of the
But this is a rather unfamiliar precedent. In general, there
is no investigation without a leak. This time, the cameras
weren't invited to photograph Barak's colleagues as they
arrived at the police station. "Even Moshe Gaon, Barak's spin
doctor, wasn't photographed."
"Part of the ugly conspiracy of silence," Weitz explains,É"is
not reporting a breakthrough. The top ranking associates in
the affair still haven't been summoned for an investigation,
and the police are only making partial use of the material in
The next NPO affair about which the newspaper reports,
concerns an NPO named Alternative. This NPO's avowed aim is
to assist in the absorption of new immigrants. In truth,
though, the organization circulated election pamphlets for
Barak, and subsidized various election activities.
The heads of the NPO were investigated by the police, and
most of them cooperated. But wonder of wonders, despite
everything, two weeks ago the Support Committee of the
Immigration and Absorption Ministry decided to allocate NIS
200,000 to that NPO.
Weitz writes that the Absorption Minister, Yuli Tamir who was
an associate in other NPOs which acted on behalf of Barak's
election, doesn't see anything was wrong.
Her ministry explained that the NPO received the subsidy for
an institute for the training of immigrants, and that the NPO
promised not to subsidize other activities with that
Weitz coments: "How is it possible that an NPO which already
broke the law has received more money? It's not too clear.
Perhaps without any connection, the office of the Prime
Minister hinted to the husband of the State Prosecutor, Edna
Arbel, that he should forego his appointment to the position
of a director of the Zim company.
"Why? Perhaps in order to prevent nefarious tongues from
wagging about the connection between the ministry and the