Israel’s nativist right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces calls for corruption charges from state police
Our favorite war criminal, Benjamin Netanyahu is facing calls to be indicted on corruption charges from his own state police stemming from two years-long cases of bribery and one case of fraud and breach of trust involving newspaper publisher Arnon Moses, Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, and Australian billionaire James Packer. The Israeli police claim that Netanyahu asked Moses, publisher of Israel’s most popular newspaper Yediot Aharonot, for positive coverage in exchange for help in reining in a rival paper.
In the second case, there are allegations that Netanyahu received upwards of a million shekels, around 283,000 American Dollars or 204,000 Euros, from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and others in return for massive political favors, including a 2008 tax exemption passed by the Knesset, nicknamed “Milchan’s Law” by the Israeli press. The law changed the Israeli tax code benefit wealthy Israelis who return to the country after living away. The Jerusalem Post alleges that the gifts included champagne and cigars. The police also recommend that Milchan face bribery charges. In the third case, Israel’s Channel 10 alleges that James Packer gave Netanyahu and his wife Sara gifts.
Netanyahu has been questioned a minimum of seven times, but a final decision on the veracity of these charges has to come from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, a former Netanyahu appointee, which could take months.
In the meantime, Netanyahu will continue in his role as Prime Minister and has appeared on camera to address the new developments, stating: “Over the years, I have been the subject of at least 15 enquiries and investigations… Some have ended with thunderous police recommendations like those of tonight. All of those attempts resulted in nothing, and this time again they will come to nothing.”
Twice Netanyahu has been accused of corruption, once after his first term as Prime Minister 20 years ago for keeping official gifts which should have been returned to the state, and again in 2015 for charging the government for the services of a contractor who did work for Netanyahu and his wife. In both instances, the charges were later dropped.