Kafe Knesset for November 7
The Submarine Affair: After two days of guessing and hinting as to whom the Police detained in their investigation of the Submarine Affair, the court-imposed gag order expired this morning. The headlines broke the news revealing the identity of the last Netanyahu confidant to visit the Police investigation rooms: Isaac Molcho. Molcho was arrested on Sunday and has been questioned for over 20 hours, two days in a row, on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust as part of the File 3000, a/k/a the Submarine Affair. The Molcho interrogation occurred while his partner, lawyer David Shimron, was questioned in a separate room. Shimron represented the German shipyard ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel. According to media reports, Molcho claimed he had no connection to the affair whatsoever, but his addition to the long list of Netanyahu associates involved in various criminal affairs is notable, and also sheds light on his decision to retire from his job as Bibi’s special envoy, just last week.
Snowflakes try to silence Hotovely: For years, Israeli speakers on US university campuses have faced hostility. In fact, it would not be a stretch to call the topic of Israel the ground zero of the current round of campus free speech wars, in which some US students protest and sometimes even riot over speakers they don’t like. Israeli officials have been experiencing this phenomenon before “special snowflakes” and “social justice warriors” were a thing. Despite this, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was surprised to find her planned speech at the Princeton Hillel was canceled at the last minute, and this time the forces seeking to suppress her speech were in the Jewish community. The Princeton Hillel’s Executive Director, Rabbi Julie Roth, canceled the speech after the Alliance of Jewish Progressives (AJP) on campus put out a petition calling Hotovely a racist. The AJP called Hotovely out for views that are pretty mainstream Right-wing views in Israel, like opposing a Palestinian state and supporting settlements. Hotovely was also criticized by AJP for her views on UNESCO. A broad spectrum on the Israeli Left and Right agree that the UNESCO decision, denying the Jewish historic connection to the Temple Mount, was a travesty. Those were the views AJP said were unacceptable to be voiced at Princeton Hillel, leading Roth to postpone the event indefinitely. Hotovely criticized the Hillel for suppressing academic freedom, and Chabad agreed to host her event. She ended up speaking at the same time and place as planned, overcoming the “liberal dictatorship,” as she called it in a tweet. Hotovely previously spoke at the Columbia Hillel and plans to speak at NYU on her current campus tour.