Israeli President Attends Ex-con Builder’s Family Party

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From second left: Rivlin, Dery and Appel at the event this week.
From second left: Rivlin, Dery and Appel at the event this week.Credit: No credit

President Reuven Rivlin attended a bat mitzvah party Tuesday for the granddaughter of businessman David Appel, who was released from prison over a year ago after serving time for three counts of bribing senior officials.

The judges described his offenses as “serious, comprehensive, and sophisticated corruption.”

In the 1990s Appel had close ties to top Israeli officials including David Levy, Arye Dery, Avigdor Lieberman, Moshe Katsav, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. Appel was also close to Rivlin and used his Likud Central Committee connections to promote Rivlin’s interests.

An investigation in the late ‘90s suggested that Appel asked Rivlin to help advance his personal interests and Rivlin had promised to help. Rivlin was implicated in several affairs involving Appel, but in 2004 then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided not to prosecute Rivlin. Dery and Lieberman also attended Tuesday’s party.

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