I HATE to hear this.
I’ve always been a big fan of Bibi’s… and I hope he ends up redeemed from this.
Either way, it’s terribly disappointing. Either he’s messed up, or he’s being falsely accused… both suck.
According to Israeli publication Haaretz:
The Israeli police announced on Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence indicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took bribes in two separate cases and acted “against public interests.”
The two cases are the so-called Case 1000 – in which Netanyahu is suspected of accepting lavish gifts from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests – and Case 2000, which alleges that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel’s second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for hurting its free rival, Israel Hayom.
According to the police, in Case 1000, Netanyahu received champagne, cigars, jewelry and clothing, by demand and systematically, valued at over one million shekels (around $280,000). The gifts he received from the Israeli-American Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan increased significantly once Netanyahu was elected prime minister.
Regarding Case 2000, the police say that Netanyahu and the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper Arnon Mozes had a give-and-take relationship and that both acted according to verbal agreements they reached. For example, the police discovered that Netanyahu called lawmakers to his house over one weekend to discuss legislation that would benefit Mozes. The police also stressed that the prime minister and Mozes held negotiations with the intent of reaching a deal, and not as a smokescreen, as Netanyahu had claimed.
The police say that there is also strong evidence to charge Mozes as well as Milchan.
Bibi has responded, and maintains he has done nothing wrong.
Netanyahu addressed the public in a live broadcast at 8:45 P.M. (Israeli time), saying that he has worked for Israel all his life and vowing to remain the country’s prime minister.
Netanyahu has maintained he did nothing wrong, claiming on numerous occasions that “there will be nothing, because there is nothing.”
According to the police, after Netanyahu was elected, the volume of gifts he received rose significantly.
Regarding Milchan, the police said that in return for the gifts, Netanyahu pushed for the so-called Milchan Law, which cuts taxes for Israelis returning to Israel after spending time abroad.
According to the police, Netanyahu acted “against public interests.”
Interestingly, Netanyahu has openly questioned the integrity of the police commissioner and other high-ranking officers tasked with the investigations recently. Did he know it would come to this? Or are they exacting revenge on him?
In an interview broadcast last Wednesday, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich claimed “powerful people” have been gathering information about the investigators in Netanyahu’s cases.
Netanyahu responded in a late-night Facebook post, calling the claims “ludicrous” and saying the police chief’s comments “cast a shadow” over the investigation. In the following days Netanyahu continued to criticize the police, including the head of the anti-fraud unit Lahav 433.