Analysis

Israel Police Ensnare the Keeper of Netanyahu's Deepest and Darkest Secrets

A bit foreign minister, a bit Mossad, a bit Shin Bet: Isaac Molho carried out Netanyahu's most sensitive missions - and they'll remain under wraps for decades to come

Isaac Molho and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Isaac Molho and Benjamin Netanyahu. Tess Scheflan and REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

The common term for David Shimron and Isaac Molho is “confidants.” When the two partners in the law firm sat Sunday and Monday in separate interrogation rooms at the police anti-corruption unit Lahav 443 after they were taken from their beds on Sunday morning, that expression was somewhat ironic.

The secrets the prime minister has confided in them over the past decades and especially in the nine years of his rule, are some of the best-kept and highly confidential in all areas: security, government and diplomacy on the one hand, and on the other, political, personal and familial. Molho and Shimron are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right and left hands. They are the right and left lobes of his brain. They are his interior minister and his foreign minister, as they were called in a profile in the magazine “Liberal.”

>> A discreet man for sensitive missions: Meet Isaac Molho, Netanyahu's confidant detained by Israeli police <<

We’re used to that already. We’re used to the fact that two private lawyers, somewhere between friends and “counselors,” who don’t account to the Knesset or the public, and sail comfortably between the public and the private, the national and the commercial, the political and the personal, and all this goodness they freely give as volunteers at no charge, while at the same time continuing to manage their little grocery store.

By the way, this overly close relationship could not be discerned in the disparaging and haughty statement by a “senior individual in Netanyahu’s bureau” on Sunday. The senior individual recommended the media drink the juice of three lemons to wipe the smile off their faces, and reiterated that Netanyahu is not a suspect and he has no connection to the affair. There was zero empathy in the statement toward the two close friends who were at that moment in the interrogation rooms. To describe Molho as “foreign minister” undervalues him. He’s a bit foreign minister, a bit Mossad chief, a bit Shin Bet security service chief, a bit Defense Ministry security department head, and super-ambassador to countless countries. He carried out the most sensitive missions for Netanyahu. As Netanyahu wrote in his parting message to him about two weeks ago, it will not be possible to reveal all of Molho’s achievements and actions on behalf the state for at least several decades, if at all.

Attorney Shimron is already a suspect and a veteran in interrogations over the submarine and ships affair. That Shimron was involved in the affair was obvious from the day the story broke a year ago. He was the person who represented the intermediary Michael Ganor, who turned state’s witness, The involvement of Shimron’s law firm partner Molho, whose name could not be made public until Tuesday morning is another earthquake in the shock-filled affair that is apparently one of the most grave in the history of the state.

In light of the sensational recent development in the case, an obvious question arises: Was there another secretthat those two shared within the walls of their prestigious office in Jerusalem? Another question that became even more vexing with Molho’s arrest on Sunday is this: Is it possible that those two acted – if they acted – in a way that constitutes a violation of the law on a mega-strategic, security-related political issue behind the back of a prime minister who was involved over his head in the exact same issue?