Sheldon Adelson questioned by police in Netanyahu corruption investigation

Sheldon Adelson with wife Miriam at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas, Feb. 24, 2017. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sheldon Adelson with wife Miriam at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas, Feb. 24, 2017. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(JTA) – American Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson was questioned in Israel in a corruption investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Adelson was questioned on Thursday at the headquarters of the Lahav 433 serious crime investigative unit in Lod. His wife, Miriam, also was expected to be questioned.

The couple came to Israel earlier this week in conjunction with U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit, and remained. They had been in touch with investigators prior to arriving in Israel and reportedly had agreed to testify in the investigation into the so-called Case 2000 after being assured that they were not suspected of wrongdoing.

Adelson, a casino magnate, is the owner of the pro-Netanyahu daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is distributed for free. Part of the case includes accusations that Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, publisher of the daily Yediot Acharanot, discussed a deal in which Netanyahu would receive favourable coverage in Yediot in exchange for legislation that would cut into the circulation of Adelson’s paper.

In recordings obtained by police of Netanyahu and Mozes discussing such a deal, they referred to Adelson as the “gingy,” or redhead. Investigators reportedly were expected to ask if Adelson was aware of the deal.

Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to Republican candidates, endorsed Trump when it was clear the reality TV star and real estate magnate would be the party’s nominee. He subsequently donated tens of millions of dollars to the Trump election campaign, and later gave a record $5 million to fund inauguration celebrations.

Miriam Adelson reportedly deals with the couple’s Israeli affairs, including the newspaper. The couple is considered to be close friends of the Netanyahus.

Netanyahu also is being investigated in a so-called Case 1000, where he is accused of accepting expensive gifts from wealthy businessmen and supporters.

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Rex Tillerson: Trump ‘putting a lot of pressure’ on Israel and the Palestinians

WASHINGTON (JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump is “putting a lot of pressure” on Israel and the Palestinians to restart peace talks, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

“The president was very forceful in his encouragement to both of them to be serious about approaching these discussions in the future and recognize you have to compromise,” Tillerson said in Rome, where he was accompanying Trump on his first overseas trip as president. Trump had just visited Israel and the Palestinian areas. [Read more…]

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Tens of thousands gather in Jerusalem to celebrate 50th anniversary of reunification

The walls of Jerusalem’s Old City are projected with video art during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and the 1967 War, May 21, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
The walls of Jerusalem’s Old City are projected with video art during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and the 1967 War, May 21, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The walls of Jerusalem’s Old City are projected with video art during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and the 1967 War, May 21, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Tens of thousands gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification.

Ceremonies and events took place throughout Wednesday in the Israeli capital to mark the annual observance of Jerusalem Day. Among the events were memorials for soldiers killed in the Six-Day War in 1967. A state memorial also was held at Mount Herzl cemetery for the thousands of Ethiopians who died on the way to Israel. [Read more…]

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Meeting with Abbas, Trump calls Manchester attackers ‘evil losers’

President Donald Trump shaking hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint news conference in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 23, 2017. (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump shaking hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint news conference in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 23, 2017. (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint news conference in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 23, 2017. (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Donald Trump condemned those behind the deadly bombing in Manchester, England, the night before as “evil losers.”

“So many young beautiful innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life. I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term,” Trump said in a joint news conference with Abbas on the second day of the U.S. president’s two-day visit to Israel and the West Bank. “They would think that’s a great name. I will call them from now on losers because that’s what they are.” [Read more…]

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Trump calls for coalition against extremists, insists Israel and Palestinians ready for peace in Jerusalem speech

President Donald Trump speaking at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaking at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump speaking at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump in the major address of his visit to Israel called for a coalition of nations to fight against extremism and insisted that both Israel and the Palestinians are ready for peace.

Trump was greeted with an extended standing ovation on Tuesday afternoon by a small audience of Israeli lawmakers and guests at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and his speech was punctuated by applause. [Read more…]

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Trump tells Netanyahu he ‘never mentioned Israel’ in meeting with Russians

President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he “never mentioned Israel” in a meeting with Russian government officials in which he was alleged to have revealed highly classified information.

“Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” Trump said Monday at a photo op with Netanyahu at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel on the second leg of his first overseas trip as president. “Never mentioned it during the conversation, they’re all saying I did, so you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel.”  [Read more…]

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Trump, landing in Israel, heralds ‘rare opportunity’ to bring peace and stability

President Donald Trump, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
President Donald Trump, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Israel for a whirlwind 28-hour visit, saying his trip to the region has given him “new reasons for hope.”

Air Force One touched down on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport shortly after 12:30 pm Monday. The landing represented the first direct flight ever between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the first stop of Trump’s first international trip as president.  [Read more…]

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Netanyahu angrily orders ministers to attend Trump arrival ceremony

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that all Cabinet ministers must attend the arrival ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport for U.S. President Donald Trump after learning most were not planning to attend.

The Israeli media reported, citing an unnamed senior government official, that Netanyahu became very angry at the meeting when he learned that so few government ministers had decided to come. Shortly after the meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office issued instructions to all government ministers requiring them to be in attendance at the airport at the time of Trump’s arrival.  [Read more…]

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