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The Midnight Affair was a domestic and international political and sex scandal in Yisrael in June 2018 that drew in the involvement of the governments of Ghant and Sydalon. The entire account was denied by the Feldman administration, and evidence of the events rely on suppressed police logs, eye witness reports, and leaks to the press.
The scandal involved the Ghantish Lord Godfrey Galan and his entourage, who were vacationing in the tourist beach scene in Dervaylik, Yisrael. Several reports allege that Galan's bodyguards were soliciting for a homosexual prostitute for the lord - a crime in Yisrael - and he and his group were arrested by the Yisraeli Police after Galan was caught in a forbidden sexual act with a male prostitute. As they were being taken to be processed by the Royal Yisraeli Civil Guard, the identity of the Ghantish noble apparently reached the senior levels of the Feldman Cabinet, centering around Ariel Goldblatt, who arranged for the Royal Yisraeli Security Service to intercept and take custody of Galan and his party and instead sent them to their private jet, where an Immigration Ministry official expelled all involved from the country. The next morning, a judge on the Royal General Court in Dervaylik ordered the police logs of the supposed arrest suppressed by judicial decree. A subsequent investigation by the Royal Yisraeli Knesset was perceived by a litany of critics as being squashed by allies of President Noah Feldman. Eight days after the sensational tale was headline news, Goldblatt was appointed to the then-vacant post of Yisraeli Ambassador to Ghant by Feldman, raising eyebrows among the Yerushalayim political class.
Timeline of events
10pm to 11pm
Lord Galan and his fellows were reported in the night club "Night Wind" in Dervaylik at 10:41pm, according to the Royal Yerushalayim Dispatch, when a club employee called the Mash'az's crime tip line alleging that a foreign nobleman's bodyguards were soliciting some local residents looking for a homosexual prostitute for their master.
When officers and detectives of the Civil Guard's Sexual Crimes Section arrived on the scene at approximately 11:03pm, they observed that Lord Galan was receiving oral sex from a local prostitute, Seth Aveidim, age 18, in his private VIP suite. Galan's bodyguard's allegedly resisted arrest when the officers announced themselves and attempted to take custody of Galan, and all six Ghantish persons present were arrested.
Given the highly political nature of the main suspect, the Civil Guard ordered two additional general police units to assist in the arrest and transport of the suspects to the nearest Civil Guard headquarters for processing.
11pm to 12am
According to the Dispatch, at about 11:20pm, Deputy Foreign Minister Ariel Goldblatt, who was the top Foreign Ministry official covering the diplomatic regions of Ghant and Northern Belisaria as well as a top ally to Foreign Minister Yitzchok Katz, received a call from an informant in the Civil Guard alerting him to the arrest of Galan.
Several sources in the room or otherwise claiming to be in the know say that Goldblatt immediately contacted then-Justice Minister Avrohom Rappaport and then-Immigration Minister Kabi Nassan by their cell phones, strategizing over how to handle the situation.
Goldblatt specifically sought to exclude his superior, Katz, who is devoutly religious and would protest on religious grounds against a more discrete action to resolve the arrest issue before it became a major diplomatic incident. Goldblatt, a close Katz ally, was perceived by those present to also be protecting his boss from being politically harmed if this midnight action became public.
At around 11:45pm, an unnamed top aide in President Feldman's office ordered a unit of Shomrim to scramble into several armored SUVs and intercept the Civil Guard police convoy with Galan before they reached the local Dervaylik headquarters of the Guard and processed the Ghantish noble, creating a paper trail.
12am to 1am
An eyewitness who approached the Dispatch reported that a few minutes after midnight on a near-deserted stretch of Highway 2 near the DNW shipyards, the Security Service agents blocked the road with their vehicles and were confronted by the lead Civil Guard detective. After a heated exchange in which both sides testily drew firearms, the Mash'az officers relented and the Shomrim agents took custody of the six suspects, who were removed to the agents' SUVs.
The Shomrim agents then said to have reported in to the President's office, where the same or a different senior aide apparently directed them to take and release Galan and his entourage at their private jet, where they would be met by an Immigration Ministry official.
They did so, and were met by an unnamed Immigration official. An anonymous Shomrim agent on the scene was quoted as saying that the official had admitted to being sent "by Immigration Minister Nassan himself." The Immigration officer presented Galan and his associates with a warrant of expulsion that revoked their travel visas to Yisrael and ordered their immediate removal from Yisraeli soil "in a reasonable time and way." A Security Service agent confirmed it was co-signed by the Immigration and Justice ministers.
1am to 2am
Around 1:25am, a private jet registered to Lord Godfrey Galan was cleared for takeoff and shortly thereafter left Yisraeli airspace, according to preserved records from the local air traffic control.
6am to 7am
According to Ghantish tabloid Gimme News, Galan and his entourage were "gathered" by the Imperial Black Guard upon landing in Ghant and were brought to Inperiala Palace, where they were to remain under house arrest for the foreseeable future.
7am to 8am
The Royal Yerushalayim Dispatch broke the story at 7:32am, with a front page headline reading: "Lord Godfrey Galan, Prominent Foreign Noble, Arrested For Forbidden Sex Act, But Freed In Secret Midnight Order To Preserve Diplomatic Relations, Sparking National Outcry."
In the article, a spokesman for President Noah Feldman as well as the Foreign Ministry declined to comment. The press office of the Justice Ministry remarked only that "the Ministry of Justice seeks to uphold the rule of laws of the Kingdom without interference, and we strongly denounce attempts at creating tabloid-like stories unworthy of comment." The Immigration Minister's office said tersely that "we always uphold the laws and protocols of immigration and border control, without exception."
- The Ghantish Imperial Government said "[w]e thank the Yisraeli government for the safe and prompt return of Lord Godfrey. As it is a family matter no further details shall be provided. Thank you."
- The Sydalene Royal Family, when asked initially for a reaction, simply said "no comment." However, after a follow-up inquiry, the spokesperson for the Royal Family stated that "Her Royal Majesty continues to pray that Lord Galan receives the help he needs." This was in reaction to Galan's annulment of his marriage to Queen Melisende in 2016 due to non-consummation, with many observers noting at the time that Galan was rumored to be a closeted homosexual.
5pm to 6pm
At around 5:15pm, the Foreign Ministry announced that Ariel Goldblatt resigned from his position.
12pm to 1pm
President Noah Feldman gave a press conference to assorted media outlets, announcing he had asked for and received the resignations of Justice Minister Avrohom Rappoport and Immigration Minister Kabi Nassan. He said at the conference upon their sacking: "There must be a clear chain of command, and when subordinate public officers conspire to do certain acts - even if noble-hearted - there must be accountability."
Furthermore, the President of Yisrael denied he or his top aides had any role in the Affair.
Given reports that FM Katz was at risk due to the actions of his deputy, Feldman replied: "Foreign Minister Yitzchok Katz will remain in his post for the foreseeable future. He has my full confidence and had no role in this affair."
2pm to 3pm
Multiple Yisraeli right-wing political voices entered the national dialogue in reaction to the scandal. Member of Knesset Yishai Luria (RC-Bnai Brak) called the Mash'az "castrated" and urged more funding.
Meanwhile, Conservative Party rising-star MK Yehoshua Atiel (RC-Modiin) broke with party ranks and was the first of Feldman's ruling Conservatives to call for an investigation into the Midnight Affair, including Feldman's or his staff's role in it.
The Yisraeli Foreign Ministry posted a missive on its website announcing that Goldblatt had been appointed by President Feldman to fill the vacancy in the diplomatic post of Yisraeli Ambassador to Ghant.
He was warmly welcomed by the Ghantish, whose Foreign Ministry released a statement "welcoming Ambassador Goldblatt to Ghant, who has gone above and beyond to help keep Ghanto-Yisraeli relations strong in the face of recent controversies and terrorism."