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Israel vs. Binyamin Netanyahu: The Circus has Just Stared but the Trial is Postponed

By DEBKAfile & World Israel News

The trial of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his three co-defendants will continue on July 19, the three-judge panel of the Jerusalem District Court announced at the opening session on Sunday, May 24. The charges of bribery, fraud and breach of faith were read out to the defendant, the prime minister, and he confirmed, "I have read and I understand the charges." Netanyahu's co-defendants are Yediot Aharonot chief editor, Arnon Mozes, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq telecom, Shaul Elovitch and his wife, Iris. All four lawyers asked for enough time before the next session to study the mountainous volume of investigative material on their cases. The judges agreed to schedule the next session on July 19. The added that the defendants were not required to attend, only their attorneys. The Elovitch's lawyer, Jack Chen asked the court to caution the witnesses against conducting a parallel trial through the media. "We want the trial to go forward before this court. If prosecution witnesses give press interviews, it will be a circus," he said. At the end of the session, Prosecutor Liat Ben Ari promised to caution the witnesses against granting press interviews. Netanyahu delivered his j'accuse outside the Jerusalem District Court minutes before the opening of his trial. Repeating the demand for the live broadcast of the proceedings (which the court had already denied) "to prevent editorial distortions and censorship," he also called for the publication verbatim of the investigation conducted against him. This would expose what he called the illegal practices of "intimidation and threats against witnesses' families," which were used to extract evidence against him. Failing to bring the "right down in election after election, Netanyahu, said, they resorted to foul methods to remove the national camp from power for years to come. "I go into court with a straight back and a head held high," said Netanyahu, "because I know that the people are with me and I'm not alone." Netanyahu blasted the trial as a political attempt to bring down a strong, right-wing prime minister through the court system. "What is happening today is an attempt to thwart the will of the people, an attempt to overthrow me and the right-wing camp," he said. Netanyahu said the trial is taking place because he refused to knuckle under to left-wing demands. "I'm not a poodle, so I have to be taken down by any means. Members of the Attorney General's office invented a case for me. The investigations are corrupt and invented from the first moment," he said. Outside the court, several hundred flag-waving, shouting demonstrators showed their support for the prime minister, who arrived in court from the first cabinet meeting of the new unity government over which he presided. A large group of Likud ministers and lawmakers in face masks took seats in the public gallery.

Real-life Twist to HBO's 'Plot Against America'

By Rafael Medoff (Commentary, Israel Hayom) In HBO's recent adaptation of the Philip Roth novel The Plot Against America, American Jews are coerced by President Charles Lindbergh to move to rural parts of the country so they will become "Americanized" and shed their Jewish ways. In real life, however, it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who wanted to do just that. In the novel and television series, Lindbergh is elected president in 1940 on a platform of keeping America out of Europe's war. But his agenda soon expands beyond isolationism. The fictional Lindbergh administration regards cultural and religious differences – especially Jewish ones – as undesirable, even dangerous. Jewish teenagers are enticed by the "Office of American Absorption" to spend their summers on farms in the Midwest. Sandy, the elder brother of the narrator, 9-year-old Philip Roth, returns from his months in Kentucky shorn of his Newark (read: Jewish) mannerisms and attitudes. Then the "Absorption" office comes up with another scheme: large East Coast companies are compelled to transfer their Jewish employees to cities in the south and west that have few Jewish residents. Phillip's father quits his job in order to keep their family from being relocated. Franklin D. Roosevelt was, in real life, a vocal advocate of similar social engineering. During his campaign as the Democrats' vice-presidential candidate in 1920, FDR told The Brooklyn Eagle that "the foreign elements" had "crowded into one district and they have brought congestion and racial prejudices to our large cities." The result, Roosevelt asserted, "is that they do not easily conform to the manners and the customs and the requirements of their new home." Population resettlement was the answer, according to FDR. "If we had the greater part of the foreign population of the City of New York distributed to different localities upstate we should have a far better condition," he told the interviewer. Roosevelt returned to the problem of immigrant assimilation in a column he wrote for a Georgia newspaper, the Macon Daily Telegraph, on April 21, 1925. "[F]or a good many years to come European immigration should remain greatly restricted," the future president wrote. "We have, unfortunately, a great many thousand foreigners who got in here and who must be digested. For 50 years the United States ate a meal altogether too large – much of the food was digestible, but some of it was almost poisonous," adding "The United States must, for a short time at least, stop eating, and when it resumes should confine itself to the most readily assimilable foodstuffs." Long after becoming president, FDR continued to view immigrants, and especially Jewish immigrants, as problematic and in need of dispersal. At a private White House luncheon on May 22, 1943, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill discussed their plans for the postwar world. The status of the Jews came up in the conversation. FDR sympathetically cited a plan that his senior adviser on population issues, Isaiah Bowman, had concocted for dealing with the Jews. Vice President Henry Wallace, who was present, wrote in his diary that Roosevelt told Churchill "the best way to settle the Jewish question" was "to spread the Jews thin all over the world." Wallace continued: "The president said he had tried this out in [Meriwether] County, Georgia and at Hyde Park on the basis of adding four or five Jewish families at each place. He claimed that the local population would have no objection if there were no more than that."

The Jews were not the only immigrants whom President Roosevelt thought should be "spread thin." He was also deeply concerned about what he saw as the inability of Asians to become fully American. "Japanese immigrants are not capable of assimilation into the American population," he wrote in that Georgia newspaper in 1925." Anyone who has traveled in the Far East knows that the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results." At a press conference on November 21, 1944, FDR was asked by a reporter whether the 130,000 Japanese-Americans whom he had put in detention camps would be permitted to return their homes when the war ended. "A good deal of progress has been made in scattering [Japanese-origin citizens] through the country, and that is going on almost every day," Roosevelt replied. In language almost identical to that which he used when discussing the Jews, he said: "[I]n the Hudson River Valley or in western Georgia which we all know, in one of those countries, probably half a dozen or a dozen families could be scattered around on the farms and worked into the community. . . . And they wouldn't – what's my favorite word? – discombobulate the existing population of those particular countries very much." In The Plot Against America, it is Franklin Roosevelt, as leader of the opposition, who eventually saves America from Lindbergh's creeping fascism. It makes for entertaining television, but it's fiction. Mark Twain famously remarked that "truth is stranger than fiction." In this case, the truth of what the liberal FDR had in mind for Jews as strange, if not stranger, than what the reactionary Lindbergh carried out in Phillip Roth's fiction.

Israel Space Agency Plans for First Ever Trip to Neptune

By United with Israel

When NASA's proposed Trident mission to Neptune is launched in 2026, there is a good chance that Israeli technology will help uncover the secrets of Neptune's unique and highly active icy moon, Triton. The Weizmann Institute's Prof. Yohai Kaspi is part of the proposed space mission team that hopes to investigate the existence and properties of Triton's subterranean ocean as well as Triton's youthful looking surface and unique atmosphere. Triton is not just super cold, with a surface temperature of ?235 degrees Celsius. It also has active geysers, meaning the icy moon has a heat source. Kaspi and Dr. Eli Galant, the two Israelis on the Trident team, possess expertise in analyzing radio signals from distant spacecraft. The Trident spacecraft will be equipped with a special scientific clock they designed that is so accurate it will lose less than a second in 10 million years. The clock will be built by the Jerusalem company Accubeat to withstand the rigors of space travel for at least 15 years. Kaspi and Galant will use the clock to calculate the properties of Triton's atmosphere based on the Doppler displacement of radio waves beamed back to Earth from the spacecraft. The Israeli-made clock will assist them in measuring tiny oscillations in these waves.

Accubeat is already building a similar clock to be launched aboard the European Space Agency's JUICE mission to the moons of Jupiter, set for 2022. This unique clock, developed for an ESA flagship mission, has raised interest with other mission teams. It is proof that Israeli industry and research have much to contribute to international space exploration," said Israel Space Agency Director General Avi Blasberger, whose organization is providing research funding. NASA is considering the mission to understand future pathways to habitable worlds that are at tremendous distances from the Sun. NASA's Voyager 2 mission showed that Triton might have an underground ocean. Triton is being designed for a single flyby to map it, explore the active processes on the moon and determine whether the predicted subsurface ocean exists. If life does exist outside of Earth, it could be hiding in subterranean oceans flowing under the surface of icy moons, and Triton is one of the most promising candidates. Triton is Neptune's largest of 14 known moons and also an oddity because it orbits in the opposite direction of all the other moons of Neptune, leading some to think that it originated from outside our Solar System and may be an intruder trapped long ago by Neptune's gravitational field.

Alligator Rumored to have been Hitler's, Survived WWII Bombing in Berlin, Dies in Moscow Zoo at 84

By Fox News

An alligator once rumored to have belonged to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has died at the Moscow Zoo. Saturn, a Mississippi alligator, was about 84 years old when he died of old age on Friday, the zoo said in a statement. "Moscow Zoo has the honor of keeping Saturn 74 years," the zoo said. "For us Saturn was an entire era, and that's without the slightest exaggeration… He saw many of us as children. We hope that we did not disappoint him." The species typically lives for 30 to 50 years in the wild, according to the zoo. Saturn was hatched in the U.S. around 1936, the zoo said, and shortly after was given to the Berlin Zoo as a gift. He survived World War II in Berlin after escaping the local zoo when it was bombed in 1943. After his escape, Saturn's whereabouts remained unknown until 1946, when British soldiers found him and gave him to the Soviet Union, the zoo said. After his discovery, rumors swirled that he belonged to Hitler's personal collection, which the zoo says is untrue. "Almost immediately, the myth was born that he was allegedly in the collection of Hitler and not in the Berlin Zoo," the zoo said. Even if Saturn was owned by someone, the zoo noted that "animals are not involved in war and politics and it is absurd to blame them for human sins." Saturn will be given to Moscow's Darwin Museum, where his taxidermed remains will be put on exhibit, the BBC reports.

Scientists say Israel may Become a Desert by the End of the Century

By YnetNews

Experts believe that the extreme heatwave besetting Israel, which might give 2020 the dubious title of "warmest year in history," is a direct result of climate change. The current warm spell is expected to last until the weekend, with temperatures averaging at 40°C (105°F) throughout the country. "The past decade has been warmer than usual and it's getting warmer each year, for longer periods and with more extreme weather as a result," said Prof. Uri Shanas from The University of Haifa Faculty of Sciences at Oranim College. "Scientists' predictions are coming true right before our eyes. Global warming is here, it's no longer the future." Shanas pointed out that the average temperature is twice as warm as the global average. "If we look at future predictions, all of Israel will become a desert by the end of the century," he said. "Temperatures in the more temperate Galilee will be the same as in the Negev Desert." Prof. Colin Price at The Tel Aviv University Department of Geophysics points to greenhouse gases, which are attributed to global warming, as the reason for the extreme weather. "We are witnessing a dramatic increase in greenhouse gases from industry, electric production, power stations, transportation, and so forth," said Price. Explaining why greenhouse gases also affect the climate, Price said that "these gases act like a blanket. The more there are, the more heat gets trapped, and Earth gets warmer as a result, without being able to release that heat." "One of the side effects is the oceans becoming warmer and causing more evaporation from water and plants into the atmosphere," he said. "This condensation is the source of violent storms. The more humidity, the more violent, large, and frequent the storms become." He did point out that in regions where there is not enough evaporation to create rain, the eventual result is the ground and plants becoming drier and drier, finally leading to mass droughts. "It's already agreed by most scientists around the world that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases," said Shanas. "Every year shows a steep climb in these gases in the atmosphere, all coming from us humans. There is no reason to believe this uptick is caused by naturally." Despite the grim predictions, there may be hope for change. One example is "This is My Earth", a green-minded organization founded in 2015 by Shanas. The goal of the group is to acquire land across the world, through the help of volunteers and donors, and turn them into protected nature reserves.

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