Gantz re-proposes Case 3000, Submarine Affair state inquiry

On October 3, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said that he would approve a state commission of inquiry into the “Submarine Affair.”

 Israeli minister of Defense Benny Gantz attend a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on October 19, 2021. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli minister of Defense Benny Gantz attend a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on October 19, 2021.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday announced he had re-proposed a state commission of inquiry into Case 3000, the “Submarine Affair.”

Unlike two previous attempts by Gantz to move forward on the issue, this time he has wide support within the coalition, and the government is expected to approve the proposal after the expected votes on the budget, potentially this week.

Already on October 3, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said he would approve a state commission of inquiry into the case.

A number of former top aides to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have already been indicted in a separate criminal case, so this commission would go beyond criminal issues and examine whether the government functioned properly in dealing with the submarines.

Gantz has been pushing hard for such an inquiry for several months but was thwarted by Netanyahu under the previous government since he was prime minister.

Protesters gather to drive in a caravan with F-35 and submarine props, demanding an investigation of Benjamin Netanyahu and the submarine affair, Case 3000. November 28, 2020. (credit: INVESTIGATION NOW)Protesters gather to drive in a caravan with F-35 and submarine props, demanding an investigation of Benjamin Netanyahu and the submarine affair, Case 3000. November 28, 2020. (credit: INVESTIGATION NOW)

The defense minister had also been rebuffed by Sa’ar in the early days of the current government because the justice minister said that rolling out such a commission was his purview.

In the end, it appears that Sa’ar did not oppose Gantz’s idea as much as the fact that he wanted control over the powers and setup of the commission.

Some of the core questions the commission would be expected to examine are whether Netanyahu acted appropriately in completing aspects of the submarine deals with Germany behind the backs of the defense minister and top IDF officials, and whether the submarines were necessary to Israeli security.

Gantz’s rollout also comes around a week after Sa’ar proposed his multiple bills that could block Netanyahu from running for prime minister whenever the next elections come about, due to his being under indictment and in the middle of a trial for public corruption charges.

If earlier on in the new government’s term, there seemed to be hesitance to use official government powers to undermine Netanyahu on these multiple vectors, with the budget close to passage, the coalition seems to have concluded that the politics of going after Netanyahu have shifted.