Israel's Former Defense Minister Threatens to Blow Whistle on German Subs Deal

Moshe Ya'alon claims Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his personal lawyer were involved in making deal with ThyssenKrupp

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the reception ceremony for the INS Tanin in Haifa, September 2014.
Kobi Gideon/Government Press Office

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon believes that charges will be filed in the German submarines affair.

Writing on his Facebook page Wednesday evening, Ya'alon claimed that he blocked the deal "with my body" when he was defense minister, before his successor in the position, Avigdor Lieberman, renewed the negotiations after his appointment last year.

"What I did and do know I told the police. I am waiting for the completion of the investigation, I am not divulging the details that I know in order not to sabotage the investigation. And I also believe that indictments will be served," he wrote.

"In the event that indictments are not issued, I will have something to say about the matter and I will give details publicly. After all, we are talking about a deal worth billions that neither I, as minister of defense, nor the army chief of staff nor the commander of the navy requested. These billions do not meet security needs and as far as I'm concerned they could [meet the needs] of people with disabilities who are protesting now, of the problems in hospitals and emergency rooms, of the poverty existing in Israel," Ya'alon wrote.

If Ya'alon has more information on the deal, he is welcome to come forward, Israeli police sources told Haaretz earlier Wednesday. The police confirmed that since Ya’alon already testified in January, his suggestion Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was involved in the graft case do not affect their investigation.

Police sources said that Yaalon’s testimony in January is being studied, but their working assumption is that he gave them all the information he had.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, January 2017.
Rami Shllush

Speaking on the “Lior Dayan is Connected” show on Hot, Yaalon said Tuesday he had no doubt Netanyahu and his cousin/personal lawyer David Shimron were involved in the so-called “Case 3000,” which involves Israel’s purchase of three submarines and four ships from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp. Shimron also represented Michael Ganor, ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel.

Yaalon had been defense minister at the time of the deal in 2015.

Ya’alon told Dayan that as far as he is concerned, it is a crisis if the prime minister prioritized some other interest, maybe even making money, over the interests of the State of Israel. “The whole matter of the boats and the German shipyard is tainted,” he claimed. “Interests that are not the greater good of Israel are involved.”

If indictments are not served, Ya’alon said he intends to go public with his information on the matter.

In February, and backed by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan ordered a criminal investigation into the submarines affair. Netanyahu was not among the suspects.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in response to Yaalon’s comments that they were “nonsense and malicious.

“His crude lies will quickly be exposed as such,” the PMO continued. “We hardly need note that the Justice Ministry officially stated, with the consent of the state attorney and attorney general, that the prime minister is not a suspect in the affair.”

The former defense minister “should find other ways to pass the electoral threshold,” it added, referring to Ya’alon’s plan to form his own political party ahead of the next Knesset election.