Israel’s Netanyahu Indicted on Bribery, Fraud & Breach of Trust Charges
Can Trump Be Far Behind?
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister, made history again on Thursday (November 21) by becoming the first sitting Israeli Prime Minister to be criminally indicted.
Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (a Netanyahu appointee) has charged Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, stemming from three corruption cases.
Netanyahu is accused of bribery because he allegedly bartered his position as Prime Minister in order to provide business favors to Israeli media mogul Shaul Elovitch. Elovitch would, in turn, provide favorable coverage on the Walla! News website.
Netanyahu has long denied any wrongdoing and denounced the indictments in familiar terms to Americans. This is “an attempted coup against a prime minister,” Netanyahu said at press conference from his residence in Jerusalem. “This is a sad day. One needs to be blind to not see that something bad is happening in the legal system.”
He further described the country’s legal system as “polluted,” and that “they didn’t look for the truth, they looked to come after me.”
As stated, Attorney General Mandelblit was appointed by Netanyahu. He said that this action brought him no pleasure and that dhe decided to indict the Prime Minister “with a heavy heart.”
But, “In the prime minister’s affairs I found there was evidence pointing to grievous actions allegedly being committed, which carry a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” Mandelblit said. ““For this reason it is my duty by law to indict. It is not a choice. It is an obligation.”
This indictment only further muddies the political waters of Israel. There have been two national elections within the last year, neither one of which produced a ruling majority.
Israel’s parliament now enters a 21-day period during which any member may form a coalition. If not, an unprecedented third national election will be held within one year.