It seems Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likudnik party just haven't been able to catch a break lately. The most recent scandal involves police recommendations that he be indicted for bribery. Despite the upheavals, Netanyahu has reassured the populace his coalition will stay secured in a Tel Aviv press conference:
<blockquote>“I want to reassure you, the coalition is stable. No one, not I, not anyone else, has plans to go to an election. We will continue to work with you for the good of Israel’s citizens until the end of the term."</blockquote>
This conference was held the morning after Israeli police publicly recommended his indictment. Israel's attorney general is now faced with the decision as to whether or not to file charges, this process could take months. Netanyahu has, not surprisingly, claimed innocence in both of the police criminal investigations which at this point have gone on for over a year.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's hard to believe that the universe is capable of providing the level of joy that would come from seeing Benjamin Netanyahu in prison. He obviously belongs there first and foremost for his cavalier slaughter of innocents, but if it has to be for bribery & corruption, that's OK <a href="https://t.co/7p6oxkAlz9">https://t.co/7p6oxkAlz9</a></p>— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) <a href="https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/963535802868359170?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Bribery for political favors is Case 1000 and involves Arnon Milchan, Hollywood producer and Israeli citizen. Milchan, the producer of Fight Club, L.A. Confidential and other acclaimed Hollywood pictures has admitted his past as an Israeli spy. Milchan had also admitted <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/arnon-milchan-admits-arms-dealing-658717">gun running in 1970's</a>. Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer were implicated in the bribery scandal and are accused of offering champagne, cigars and jewelry to Netanyahu and his family. The "gifts" were said to total over one million shekels ($280,000). The focus of the investigation will be whether political favors were sought in exchange and if so, if they were granted. Netanyahu's lawyers claim the gifts were just that, gifts with no strings attached.
A spokesman for Packer wanted to make public the claim that he has been interviewed as a witness, rather than a suspect. Case 2000 is related to “bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister” connected with Arnon Mozes, publisher of the best-selling newspaper in Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth. Police claim the two men were colluding to slow the growth of a rival daily paper, Israel Hayom “through legislation and other means."
The police also say they believe sufficient evidence already exists to charge Mozes for bribery.
Mozes' lawyers published an official statement in Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday:
Navit Negev and Iris Niv-Sabag, lawyers for Arnon (Noni) Mozes, said in a statement published by Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday: “Noni Mozes has strong legal arguments in his favor, and we believe that after an additional examination of the evidence by the prosecutor’s office the case against him will be closed and it will become clear that he committed no crime.”
Netanyahu criticized the police's claims:
“After reading the recommendations report, I can say that it is a biased, extreme document full of holes, like Swiss cheese,” Netanyahu said. “I am certain, as I have always been certain, and nothing has changed, that the truth will come to light and nothing will come of this.”
In this case, unfortunately, Netanyahu won't even be able to <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/17559-Soros-Denies-Israeli-PM-Netanyahu-Claims-Of-Sponsoring-Deportation-Protests">blame George Soros</a>.