Trump lays groundwork to change U.S. role in the world

National Security

Even at GOP retreat, Trump sets the agenda

At the Republican retreat for members of Congress in Philadelphia, President Trump’s tweets, speeches and executive orders derailed the GOP’s plan to agree upon a replacement for Obamacare and set other policy initiatives. (Video: Jayne Orenstein/Photo: Getty Images/The Washington Post)

Obamacare and set other policy initiatives. (Video: Jayne Orenstein/Photo: Getty Images/The Washington Post)

By Karen DeYoung and Philip Rucker January 26 at 8:25 PM

President Trump began this week to reshape the U.S. role in the world, laying the groundwork, in a series of planned and signed executive actions and statements, for the “America first” foreign policy on which he campaigned.

Already, Trump has mandated construction of a border wall with Mexico and a clampdown on local immigration enforcement. Other directives drafted but not yet signed would halt all refu­gee admissions and entry into the United States of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries deemed terrorist hotbeds; declare a moratorium on new multilateral treaties; and mandate audits of U.S. funding for international organizations, including the United Nations, with a view toward cutting U.S. voluntary contributions by 40 percent.

Additional pending orders, copies of which were obtained by The Washington Post, call for a review of cyber capabilities and vulnerabilities, in advance of what is expected to be greater use of offensive powers; and direct the Pentagon to quickly develop plans to reduce spending on items not deemed “highest priority,” while ramping up programs to expand the armed forces and modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

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[Read the draft of the executive order to rebuild the armed forces]

Another draft order under consideration would direct the State Department to review its designations of foreign terrorist organizations, allowing it to add the Muslim Brotherhood to the list, according to an administration official who was not authorized to discuss it. The group’s status as a legitimate political movement vs. a terrorist group is controversial in the Middle East. Such a listing would please some, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but could anger others, such as Turkey and Qatar.

See what President Trump has been doing since taking office

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The new president is expected to make his mark on an aggressive legislative agenda.

Trump could sign some of these orders as early as Friday during a scheduled visit to the Pentagon. The White House declined to comment on the directives.

If implemented, these initiatives and other steps Trump has previewed will usher in a new era of American foreign policy, after decades of bipartisan agreement that the United States has a responsibility to spread democracy and stand up for the oppressed, and that it would prosper when a united, free world prospered.

In the policies Trump has outlined, there are no apparent trade-offs to be made that balance short-term American advantage with global goals benefiting the United States over the longer term. Instead, as a policy posted on the White House website on Inauguration Day put it, “The world will be more peaceful and more prosperous with a stronger and more respected America.”

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said in his inauguration speech. “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

[Read the draft of the executive order on treaties ]

Trump sees himself as the protector of an American fortress and disrupter of a world that is growing more calamitous and dangerous by the day. “The world is a total mess,” he said Wednesday in an interview with ABC News.

At times, it is difficult to determine whether he is laying down the law or establishing a negotiating position. Having pushed Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto into a corner on funding the border wall, the administration indicated Thursday that it considered Mexico’s cancellation of a presidential visit to Washington a mere postponement.

5 challenges Trump may face building a border wall View Graphic

Kori Schake, a former national security official in the George W. Bush administration who opposed Trump’s candidacy, said the executive orders are already causing political damage with U.S. allies. “It’s consistent with the way in which President Trump creates chaos and moves blithely on,” she said.

Many of Trump’s ideas are not new, although they draw from a wide political spectrum. Trump’s reimagining of a new 21st-century architecture for world order, including a sharp reduction in U.S. participation in international institutions, has been a rallying cry for conservatives for years.

[Read the draft of the executive order on U.S. funding]

His words and actions reflect “a view that the status quo that has essentially grown up over the last 70 years costs the U.S. more than it benefits it,” said Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior official in the George H.W. Bush administration. That view, extending from trade policy to traditional alliances, Haass said, “is fundamentally flawed in its assumption that American involvement and leadership in the world has cost us more than it’s gained us, but that nonetheless appears to be their vision.”

The United Nations, with its welter of sometimes obscure sub-organizations, and the platform it often provides for criticism of the United States, has been a long-standing target.

Two of the treaties that Trump’s proposed executive order makes particular mention of as forcing adherence to “radical domestic agendas” — the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child — are traditional bull’s eyes. Like many other U.N.-generated treaties, they have never been ratified by the United States.

Trump proposes internal high-level committees to examine multilateral treaties, with a view toward leaving them, as well as a 40 percent cut in funding for international organizations whose agendas are “contrary to American interests.” It is unclear whether the intent is to cut funds for U.N. activities such as peacekeeping forces­ and humanitarian programs, as well as those, already targeted by Trump, that support Palestinians and other groups out of favor with the new administration.

John B. Bellinger III, who served as legal counsel to both the National Security Council and the State Department in the George W. Bush administration, said the treaty examination was based on a “false premise . . . that the United States has become party to numerous multi­lateral treaties that are not in the United States’ interest.”

There are “many hundreds of multi­lateral treaties that help Americans every day in concrete ways,” he said. Without them, “Americans could not have our letters delivered in foreign countries; could not fly over foreign countries or drive on foreign roads using our state driver’s licenses; could not have access to a foreign consular official if we are arrested abroad; could not have our children returned if abducted by a parent; and could not prevent foreign ships from polluting our waters.”

While mandates for building a border wall, boosting immigration law enforcement and barring refugees will take immediate effect, others buy time by establishing committees and reviews.

The draft Pentagon order begins by stating, “It shall be the policy of the United States to pursue Peace Through Strength.” It directs Defense Secretary James Mattis to produce a National Defense Strategy — something virtually every administration regularly does — by the beginning of 2018.

There is little apparent controversy in the draft executive order to strengthen cybersecurity, a six-page document that in tone and substance could have been written by the Obama administration. It calls for no bold initiatives but rather for review of areas Trump’s predecessor had already scrutinized.

[Read the draft of the executive order on cybersecurity]

One line in the proposed order appeared to signal that the new administration might want to reorganize agencies or boost legal authorities to better protect the country’s civilian government networks and critical infrastructure.

Even as Trump sets direction with executive orders, the White House is trying to exert direct control over policymaking at federal departments and agencies. Although offices in many departments sit empty as Cabinet nominees await confirmation, and sub-Cabinet positions are not yet filled, senior advisers have been deployed from the West Wing as liaisons to some departments, to ensure the work that is being done is in keeping with White House priorities.

Of the suggestion that at least some of Trump’s moves so far may be largely symbolic and eventual policies could become more traditional, Schake said, “Oh my God, that’s the hopeful interpretation — that he’s trying to take rapid symbolic gestures that will please his base and that the policy details can get worked out subsequently when he has a Cabinet in place.”

“The downside, of course, is it brings all of the diplomatic and economic downsides of having taken the policy action, even if it’s only a symbolic gesture,” she said.

Ellen Nakashima, Missy Ryan, Dan Lamothe and Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed to this report.

Trump’s foreign policy revolution

See what President Trump has been doing since taking office

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The new president is expected to make his mark on an aggressive legislative agenda.

By Charles Krauthammer Opinion writer January 26 at 7:19 PM

The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to conservative skeptics of Donald Trump. But it shouldn’t erase the troubling memory of one major element of Trump’s inaugural address.

The foreign policy section has received far less attention than so revolutionary a declaration deserved. It radically redefined the American national interest as understood since World War II.

Trump outlined a world in which foreign relations are collapsed into a zero-sum game. They gain, we lose. As in: “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries” while depleting our own.

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And most provocatively this: “The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.” Bernie Sanders believes that a corrupt establishment has ripped off the middle class to give to the rich. Trump believes those miscreants have given away our patrimony to undeserving, ungrateful foreigners as well.

JFK’s inaugural pledged to support any friend and oppose any foe to assure the success of liberty. Note that Trump makes no distinction between friend and foe (and no reference to liberty). They’re all out to use, exploit and surpass us.

[Newt Gingrich: Margaret Thatcher is the real model for the Trump presidency]

No more, declared Trump: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First.”

Imagine how this resonates abroad. “America First” was the name of the organization led by Charles Lindbergh that bitterly fought FDR before U.S. entry into World War II — right through the Battle of Britain — to keep America neutral between Churchill’s Britain and Hitler’s Reich. (Then came Pearl Harbor. Within a week, America First dissolved itself in shame.)

Not that Trump was consciously imitating Lindbergh. I doubt he was even aware of the reference. He just liked the phrase. But I can assure you that in London and in every world capital they are aware of the antecedent and the intimations of a new American isolationism. Trump gave them good reason to think so, going on to note “the right of all nations to put their own interests first.” America included.

Some claim that putting America first is a reassertion of American exceptionalism. On the contrary, it is the antithesis. It makes America no different from all the other countries that define themselves by a particularist blood-and-soil nationalism. What made America exceptional, unique in the world, was defining its own national interest beyond its narrow economic and security needs to encompass the safety and prosperity of a vast array of allies. A free world marked by open trade and mutual defense was President Truman’s vision, shared by every president since.

Until now.

Some have argued that Trump is just dangling a bargaining chip to negotiate better terms of trade or alliance. Or that Trump’s views are so changeable and unstable — telling European newspapers two weeks ago that NATO is obsolete and then saying “NATO is very important to me” — that this is just another unmoored entry on a ledger of confusion.

But both claims are demonstrably wrong. An inaugural address is no off-the-cuff riff. These words are the product of at least three weeks of deliberate crafting for an address that Trump’s spokesman said was intended to express his philosophy. Moreover, to remove any ambiguity, Trump prefaced his “America First” proclamation with: “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.”

[Trump is his administration’s own worst enemy on foreign policy]

Trump’s vision misunderstands the logic underlying the far larger, far-reaching view of Truman. The Marshall Plan surely took wealth away from the American middle class and distributed it abroad. But for a reason. Altruism, in part. But mostly to stabilize Western Europe as a bulwark against an existential global enemy.

We carried many free riders throughout the Cold War. The burden was heavy. But this was not a mindless act of charity; it was an exercise in enlightened self-interest. After all, it was indeed better to subsidize foreign armies — German, South Korean, Turkish and dozens of others — and have them stand with us, rather than stationing even more American troops everywhere around the world at greater risk of both blood and treasure.

We are embarking upon insularity and smallness. Nor is this just theory. Trump’s long-promised but nonetheless abrupt withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the momentous first fruit of his foreign policy doctrine. Last year the prime minister of Singapore told John McCain that if we pulled out of the TPP “you’ll be finished in Asia.” He knows the region.

For 70 years, we sustained an international system of open commerce and democratic alliances that has enabled America and the West to grow and thrive. Global leadership is what made America great. We abandon it at our peril.

Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Read more on this topic:

Sebastian Mallaby: Trump says Europe is in trouble. He has a point.

Anne Applebaum: Trump’s dark promise to return to a mythical past

David Ignatius: Trump could smash the old world order — and replace it with what?

Charles Krauthammer: What happened to the honeymoon?

The Post’s View: In his inaugural address, Trump leaves America’s better angels behind

America’s New President Is Not a Rational Actor

Whether by accident or design, Donald Trump is isolating himself and erratically unraveling the world order.

By Stephen M. Walt

A lot of people have been appalled by Donald Trump’s behavior during the transition, at his inauguration, and in his first week in office. You can count me among them. But I also find his actions baffling from the perspective of Trump’s own self-interest. People who opposed his administration’s policies should take heart, because his conduct so far will make it harder to proceed as he seems to want.

For starters, Trump made zero effort to exploit the honeymoon period traditionally accorded a new president by the press, didn’t try to drive a wedge or two in the large coalition that opposes him, and declined to appeal to a broader sense of national unity. Thus far he has played entirely to his base, painting a dark portrait of a crumbling America where everybody except Trump himself is untrustworthy, corrupt, deceitful, and not to be heeded at all. The result: a president who lost the popular vote by 2.5 million people is even less popular now, and he enters office with the lowest approval ratings of any new president in history.

Never mind the irony of such a deeply corrupt and dishonest person accusing others of corruption; the odd thing is that he has been doing just about everything he can to unite key institutions against him. This may not matter if he and his lackeys can disseminate a squid-ink cloud of “alternative facts” and convince their many followers that down is up, black is white, 2+2=5, and what the president said on camera last week really never took place. As I’ve warned before, Trump & Co. seems to be operating straight from the Erdogan-Berlusconi-Putin playbook, and it remains an open question whether this approach will work in a country with many independent sources of information, some of which are still committed to facts.

The same goes for the agencies of the government that he is now supposedly leading. Government bureaucrats have been held in low regard for a long time, which makes them an easy target. But you also can’t do anything in public policy without their assistance, and my guess is that Americans will be mighty unhappy when budget cuts, firings, resignations, and the like reduce government performance even more. Get ready for a steady drip, drip, drip of leaks and stories emanating from dedicated civil servants who are committed to advancing the public interest and aren’t going to like being treated with contempt and disdain by a bunch of hedge fund managers, wealthy Wall Streeters, or empty suits like Energy Secretary Rick Perry, all led by President Pinocchio.

Then there’s Trump’s delicate relationship with the national security establishment. Having picked a fight with the intelligence community during the campaign and transition, Trump had a golden opportunity to mend fences during his visit to the CIA last week. No one expected him to offer a lengthy mea culpa; all he had to do was tell his audience he understood their work was important, he believed them to be patriots, he recognized that some of them had made sacrifices for the country that dwarf any he has ever made, and that he was counting on them to do outstanding work henceforth. He started off OK, but proceeded to make a weird and narcissistic detour into the size of his electoral victory, his uncle who taught at MIT, and his complaints about media coverage of the crowd size at his inauguration and whether or not it rained during his speech. Read this transcript, and see if you can find a statesman anywhere in this incoherent and self-centered performance. An even more relevant question: Did he think this sort of behavior would advance his cause?

There’s also the broader question of his overall approach to foreign policy. As I’ve noted repeatedly, a few elements of Trump’s worldview make sense, such as his aversion to nation-building in the greater Middle East. But as Jessica Mathews points out in an important essay in the New York Review of Books, Trump and key advisors like Michael Flynn also believe Islamic extremism is a mortal danger and have promised to get rid of the Islamic State right away. But how do you do that, and how do you make sure the Islamic State doesn’t come back, if you aren’t busy invading, occupying, and nation-building in the areas where it and other extremist movements live and recruit? In fact, Islamic extremism is a problem but not an existential threat, which is why the United States does not need to try to transform the whole region. But Trump doesn’t seem to see things this way.

Even more important, Trump seems to be blithely unaware that the United States is engaged in a serious geopolitical competition with China, and that this rivalry isn’t just about jobs, trade balances, currency values, or the other issues on which he’s fixated. Instead, it is mostly about trying to keep China from establishing a hegemonic position in Asia, from which it could eventually project power around the world and possibly even into the Western hemisphere itself. It’s easier to favor “America First” when no other great power is active near our shores, but that fortunate position may not last if China establishes a position in its neighborhood akin to the one the United States has long enjoyed in its backyard. With its surroundings secured, China could forge alliances around the world and interfere in distant regions — much as the United States has done since World War II — including areas close to U.S. soil. This development would force Americans to worry a whole lot more about defending our territory, something we haven’t had to worry about for more than a century.

Here’s a news flash, Mr. President: The United States is not located in the Western Pacific. As a result, its ability to prevent China from becoming a hegemonic power there requires close cooperation with Asian partners. The United States should not try to shoulder this burden by ourselves, but we sure ain’t gonna do it alone. That is why Trump’s hasty decision to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership is so short-sighted. It is even dumber if he plans to pick lots of fights with Beijing on economic issues and the South China Sea while launching bare-knuckle bilateral trade talks with the rest of Asia. Forget about Russia: Thus far, Trump’s nonstrategic behavior toward China makes me wonder if there is a Chinese word for “kompromat.”

But by far the most baffling lapse in the post-election period has been Trump’s near-silence on his strategy for dealing with Russia.

But by far the most baffling lapse in the post-election period has been Trump’s near-silence on his strategy for dealing with Russia. And the truly weird part is that there is a perfectly sensible geo-strategic case for mending fences with Moscow, and it’s not hard to explain or understand at all. Suppose Trump met with a sympathetic journalist and said something along these lines:

“There are some losers who think I’m too fond of President Putin, and who believe he’s got something on me. That’s dumb, absurd, a crazy conspiracy theory that’s being promoted by the dishonest media. What these people don’t understand is that a better relationship with Russia is in our national interest. Russia is a major European and Asian power. It has thousands of nuclear weapons. Putin is a tough guy who really hates terrorists, and he doesn’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon. Putin also helped the world get rid of Assad’s chemical weapons. As my really good friend Henry Kissinger told me, a bad relationship with Russia makes it harder to solve problems in lots of places.

“But for the past 25 years, the traditional foreign-policy establishment here in Washington kept ignoring Russia’s geopolitical concerns and pushing NATO eastward. How dumb was that? And they kept talking all the time about spreading democracy and criticizing Moscow for not being just like us. I can’t believe how stupid this was: All it did was alarm the Russians and eventually lead them to seize Crimea. That wasn’t good, but can you blame them? No, you should blame Obama and all those liberals in the EU. Even worse, this dumb policy just pushed Moscow closer to Beijing. Is that what we want?

“Look, I love this country — and why not? The American people chose me to be president! I’m no fan of the Russian political system. But my job is to advance the national interest. I’m going to show the American people that I can get a better deal from Russia working with them than working against them. Trust me, it’s gonna be TREMENDOUS.”

Reasonable people can still disagree about a statement like that, but explaining the underlying balance-of-power logic behind Trump’s desire for better relations with Russia would help dilute the suspicion that he’s acting this way because he owes the Russian oligarchs billions, or because the Russians have some embarrassing kompromat on him. It would also diminish concerns that he and Rex Tillerson just want to lift sanctions so that Exxon can start drilling in Russian oil and gas fields.

Which raises the obvious question: Why hasn’t he offered such an obvious explanation? I don’t have the slightest idea. It’s possible nobody in his inner circle understands geopolitics in a serious way (and his scuttling of the TPP supports that point), so maybe it just hasn’t occurred to them. Or it’s possible that some of the rumors are in fact correct, and there really is some dirty laundry lurking behind the scenes.

But there’s a third possibility, one that offers a unified, coherent explanation for some of the apparent contradictions in Trump’s foreign-policy views. Trump and some of his advisors (most notably Stephen Bannon) may be operating from a broad, Huntingtonian “clash of civilizations” framework that informs both their aversion to multiculturalism at home and their identification of friends and foes abroad. In this essentially cultural, borderline racialist worldview, the (mostly white) Judeo-Christian world is under siege from various “other” forces, especially Muslims. From this perspective, the ideal allies are not liberals who prize tolerance, diversity, and an open society, but rather hard-core blood-and-soil nationalists who like walls, borders, strong leaders, the suppression or marginalization of anyone who’s different (including atheists and gay people, of course) and the promotion of a narrow and fairly traditional set of cultural values.

For people who see the world this way, Putin is a natural ally. He declares Mother Russia to be the main defender of Christianity and he likes to stress the dangers from Islam. European leaders like Marine Le Pen of France, Nigel Farage of Great Britain, and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands are Trump’s kind of people, too, and on this dimension so are the right-wingers in the Israeli government. And if Islam is the real source of danger, and we are in the middle of a decades-long clash of civilizations, who cares about the balance of power in Asia?

The problem with this way of thinking, as I wrote back when The Clash of Civilizations first appeared, is that it rests on a fundamental misreading of world politics. “Civilizations” are not political entities; they do not have agency and do not in fact act. For good or ill, states still drive most of world politics, and clashes within Huntington’s various “civilizations” are still more frequent and intense than clashes between them. Moreover, seeing the future as a vast contest between abstract cultural groupings is a self-fulfilling prophecy: If we assume the adherents of different religions or cultural groups are our sworn enemies, we are likely to act in ways that will make that a reality.

So where does this leave us? Way too soon to tell, but I’ll hazard two guesses. First, foreign and defense policies are going to be a train wreck, because they don’t have enough good people in place, the people they have appointed don’t agree on some pretty big issues (e.g., NATO), the foreign-policy “blob” will undercut them at every turn, and Trump himself lacks the discipline or strategic vision to manage this process and may not care to try. Even if you agree with his broad approach, his team is going to make a lot more rookie mistakes before they figure out what they are doing.

Second, get ready for a lot of unexpected developments and unintended consequences. If the United States is giving up its self-appointed role as the “indispensable nation” and opting instead for “America First,” a lot of other countries will have to rethink their policies, alignments, and commitments. Unraveling a long-standing order is rarely a pretty process, especially when it happens quickly and is driven not by optimism but by anger, fear, and resentment. I’ve long favored a more restrained U.S. grand strategy, but I also believed that that process had to be done carefully and above all strategically. That doesn’t appear to be President Trump’s approach to anything, which means we are in for a very bumpy ride to an unknown destination.

Photo credit: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Getty Images

Trump CIA Merkezinde; Biliyorsunuz medya ile devam eden bir savaşım var!

ABD Başkanı Donald Trump, görevinin ilk gününde Merkezi Haber Alma Teşkilatının (CIA) Virginia’daki merkezini ziyaret ederek medyanın kendisi ile ABD istihbarat teşkilatları arasında bir kin varmış algısını yarattığını, CIA’in yanında olduğunu söyledi.

Rusya’nın Trump lehine ABD başkanlık seçimlerini etkilediği iddiaları ile gündeme gelen Trump-CIA kavgasının ardından yeni Başkan’ın ilk durağının CIA merkezi olması ilişkilerin yumuşayacağı sinyalini veriyor.

CIA çalışanları ile bir araya gelen Trump, “Ben yüzde 1000 sizinleyim. İstihbarat toplumu ve CIA’ye yönelik Donald Trump’tan daha güçlü hisleri olan kimse yok. Arkanızdayım. Daha çok arkanızda olacağım.” dedi.

ABD medyasını dürüst olmamakla suçlayan Trump, şöyle devam etti:

İlk durağımın burası olmasının sebebi biliyorsunuz medya ile devam eden bir savaşım var. Onlar yeryüzündeki en haysiyetsiz şeyler. İstihbarat toplumu ile aramda bir kin olduğunu söylüyorlar. Benim burada olmamın sebebi bu iddiaların tam tersidir.”

Yaklaşık 400 CIA çalışanının katıldığı toplantıda Trump, “Sizi seviyorum, size saygı duyuyorum. Biz tekrar kazanmaya başlayacağız ve bunun da başını siz çekeceksiniz.” dedi.

Israel: Police Question Netanyahu’s Son About His Relationship With Billionaire James Packer

Interrogation under caution takes place as questioning of suspects continues in other affair, involving the prime minister and media mogul Arnon Mozes. ‘Investigation won’t take too long,’ says Israel police chief.

The rise of Yair Netanyahu, the 25-year-old who has the prime minister’s ear
New leaks: Netanyahu and Mozes discuss how deeply Adelson’s daily must be cut
Israeli police were barred from questioning Netanyahu, wife simultaneously Harretz reports.

Police questioned Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for four hours on Tuesday in connection with the so-called Case 1000, involving suspicions that the Netanyahu family received perks from wealthy businessmen. Israel Police’s Lahav 433 fraud investigation unit questioned the younger Netanyahu under caution, meaning he could be considered a suspect in committing a crime.
According to a Channel 10 television report, the police asked Yair Netanyahu about money he ostensibly received from Australian billionaire James Packer, and about the latter’s relationship with his father. According to the report, Yair Netanyahu’s line of defense was expected to be that his father had no idea who gave him the funds.
Earlier on Tuesday, Arnon Mozes, publisher of the mass-circulation daily Yedioth Ahronoth, was questioned once again with respect to the second affair connected to the prime minister, dubbed Case 2000. The police previously questioned Mozes for three hours Monday, and for eight hours on Sunday. The police’s fraud unit also brought in Amos Regev, editor-in-chief of the free newspaper Israel Hayom, to give testimony in the same case.

The affair dubbed Case 2000 focuses on suspicions that Netanyahu and Mozes discussed a deal whereby Mozes’ daily would give more favorable coverage of the prime minister in return for weakening Israel Hayom as a competitor of Yedioth.
Ron Yaron, the editor of Yedioth, gave testimony Monday in the Netanyahu-Mozes affair, as part of the police’s effort to determine whether Mozes had spoken to the editor at any time, in order to enlist him in the scheme the publisher and the premier allegedly cooked up.

The police believe that if Mozes had made such a request of Yaron – even if the latter didn’t know about the conversations with Netanyahu – that would constitute proof that the deal was actually being implemented, at least on the part of Mozes.

The police did not investigate Yaron under caution because at this point they do not believe that he was involved in executing the alleged plan.
For his part, Yair Netanyahu was to be interrogated in the context of Case 1000, which involves suspicions that he and members of his family received valuable gifts and other perks from wealthy businessmen in Israel and abroad.
About a month ago Channel 10 reported that the younger Netanyahu stayed last summer in a luxurious apartment belonging to Packer, at the Royal Beach Hotel in Tel Aviv. According to the report, a few months ago Packer’s attorney in Israel, Jacob Weinroth, met with Interior Minister Arye Dery and requested that Packer be awarded permanent residency status in the country. It was also reported that the favors Packer allegedly gave Yair Netanyahu were not limited to allowing him to use the Tel Aviv apartment, but also included vacations, private flights and a stay at a luxury hotel.
On Tuesday morning, during a tour of the Bedouin town of Rahat in southern Israel, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich spoke about the two affairs involving Prime Minister Netanyahu, and suggested that “the investigation won’t be very long.” Alsheich spoke generally about corruption among elected officials, and said of the police that, “our job is not to collect information about them or to initiate efforts that will reveal such information – our job is to eliminate corruption and to guard the state coffers.”
He added that, “information inevitably surfaces in a democratic country. Everyone talks about everyone else, so the information arrives.”
Alsheich also spoke of the police’s role vis-a-vis Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, explaining that, “We have to be coordinated with the attorney general and to act according to his instructions. This is a subject in which the police have less freedom of action, and the real test lies in the results.”
The police commissioner also discussed the upcoming retirement of Maj. Gen. Meni Yitzhaki, head of the police investigations and intelligence division, noting that the rounds of appointments in the Israel Police are conducted in an organized fashion. He added that Yitzhaki has acceded to the request not to leave his job “before everything is over,” as Alscheich put it, saying, “He understands that it’s not proper to retire during the course of an investigation.”