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Netanyahu to be indicted on bribery charges. Here's what you need to know

The indictment would mark the first time in Israeli history that a sitting prime minister has been charged with a crime.

By +972 Magazine Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Kfar Maccabiah, Ramat Gan on February 21, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Kfar Maccabiah, Ramat Gan on February 21, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his intention to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday on criminal offenses in all three corruption cases against him. The attorney general decided to charge Netanyahu with bribery in one case alone, pending a hearing, while bringing a lesser charge of breach of trust in the other two.

The decision would mark the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister faced criminal charges. Netanyahu, who has repeatedly said that he will not step down should he be indicted, has called the charges “absurd,” saying that the prosecution’s “house of cards will soon collapse.” Likud officials have blamed the decision on pressure and “bullying” by the left.

The charges revolve around three cases, known as Case 1000, Case 2000, and Case 4000. In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of receiving gifts and benefits from billionaire patrons in exchange for political favors. Case 2000 involves Netanyahu’s alleged agreement with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, to reduce the circulation of rival newspaper Israel Hayom and perhaps even stop it from putting out a weekend magazine edition — in return for more favorable coverage in Yedioth.

In Case 4000, considered the most serious of the three in which Netanyahu is expected to be charged with bribery, the prime minister is suspected of having promoted regulatory decisions that benefited Israeli businessman Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Israel’s largest telecommunications company, and who owns Israeli news site Walla!, in exchange for positive news coverage.

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Here are some of the articles +972 Magazine has published on the ongoing investigations into Netanyahu’s corruption scandals, what they mean for democracy, the state of the Israeli press, and Palestinians:

  • Dahlia Scheindlin wrote about why Netanyahu’s refusal to resign is only one of the deep offenses to democracy that the investigations have come to represent. “What should be an enviable display of independent law enforcement agencies holding public representatives accountable is turning into a showcase — and possibly a harbinger — of the erosion of democratic norms in Israel,” she writes.
  • Writing about the Yedioth scandal, Shuki Tausig, who heads The Seventh Eye news watchdog site, believes Netanyahu’s shady dealings with Mozes reveal the driving force behind Israel’s biggest newspapers: profit and ideology. The type of corruption exhibited by the deal, writes Tausig, couldn’t exist in media outlets with truly independent journalists.
  • Amjad Iraqi argued that, should Netanyahu be found guilty, Israel’s post-Bibi politics portend growing misfortune for Palestinians. All leadership contenders, from the right to the center-left, have histories of espousing racist and violent views of Palestinians as being either nuisances to tolerate or threats to be destroyed.

Correction:
A previous version of this article erroneously stated that the attorney general indicted Netanyahu. The attorney general only informed Netanyahu of his intention to file an indictment pending a hearing.

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    COMMENTS

    1. UnImpressedRealist

      Fitting really. The monster wanted to be known for so much, he certainly will be.

      He should have been indicted for all his crimes and we all know what they are.

      Reply to Comment
      • itshak Gordine

        Which “crimes”. He is an extraordinary Prime Minister, the best that the State of Israel has had. I hope he will win the election again.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Right, I mean, it’s not like he’s Arab or something, or quelle horreur, an Arab person who in your mental world committed the crime of marrying a Jewish person. Let’s keep it in perspective right?

          https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-forget-kahane-israeli-racism-is-going-to-be-something-different-1.6977772

          “All types of racism may all be bad, each in their own way, but there are different kinds. The Kahanist variety shared by Otzma Yehudit and its allies, organizations such as Lehava and Hemla, is more about emotional disturbance than political ideology.

          This kind of racism is particularly obnoxious because it is preoccupied with the idea of the despised other as sexual predators set on seducing our pure, innocent girls. In the Israeli context, Arabs are the predators and Jewish girls the victims. But the template is shared by rightist extremists the world over.

          This sort of racism also insists that the other is an irreconcilable enemy of the state, a mortal danger to our personal and national security who has to be expelled. Then the nation will be safe, secure and purified.

          Riding to the imaginary rescue

          The reality is entirely otherwise. Although Lehava says it is busy rescuing Jewish women, a Pew survey estimated such only about 2% of Jews who are married or living with someone who is a non-Jew (and that includes someone who is religiously unaffiliated).

          The idea that Israeli Arabs are enemies of the state has no basis either….”

          Reply to Comment
    2. join

      fake news

      Reply to Comment