A photo in Israeli media June 28 showed a row of dignitaries at the cornerstone laying ceremony of a medical school in the West Bank settlement town of Ariel. The school is located at Ariel College, recently upgraded to the status of a university by the Council of Higher Education of the Occupied Territories, an institution under the jurisdiction of the commander of Israel’s military forces in the West Bank — separated from the Israeli Council for Higher Education — and not recognized by any state in the world.
The cameras focused on the beaming face of Education Minister Naftali Bennett, pro-settlement HaBayit HaYehudi party chairman, seated next to the school’s donor, American gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Bennett’s glow was in marked contrast to the grim expression on the face of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seated away from his veteran American benefactor. The photo appeared to confirm reports that under recent police questioning Adelson had expressed his displeasure with Netanyahu over wheeling and dealing in which Netanyahu engaged behind his back with the publisher of daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Noni Mosez. Netanyahu is under police investigation for allegedly conspiring with Mosez to reduce the activity of the Adelson-owned freebie Yisrael Hayom newspaper in return for positive coverage of the prime minister by Yedioth Ahronoth.