Israel is different. In every respect. Not only in harassing the world with broker scams, but also in politics. Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has indicted the countries Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. The Israeli prosecutors charged the 70-year-old politician in all three major corruption cases for which he was investigated. It was the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime.
In the 63-page indictment, Netanyahu was accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of pounds in luxury gifts from billionaire friends and for trading valuable favors with Israeli media and telecoms entrepreneurs for positive news coverage.
A day in which the attorney general decides to serve an indictment against a seated prime minister for serious crimes of corrupt governance is a heavy and sad day, for the Israeli public and for me personally.Avichai Mandelblit, Attorney General, Israel (Source: The Guardian)
The indictment is the result of three years of investigations and arrives at a desperately fraught time for Israel’s longest-serving leader. Netanyahu is scrambling to remain in power after failing to win in two elections this year. The prime minister has previously denied all the allegations, saying they are part of a politically orchestrated “witch-hunt” to oust him from office.
Favors for money
In one of the cases, known as case 1,000, the indictment claims that the PM received gifts such as cigars, champagne, and jewelry, from billionaires, including the Hollywood businessman Arnon Milchan and Australian casino operator James Packer in exchange for favors.
In another case, Netanyahu is accused of offering incentives worth close to £200m to the Israeli telecoms provider Bezeq in exchange for positive stories on an online news website it owns. That’s called bribery, isn’t it?
Along with Netanyahu, two powerful media figures in Israel tied up in the investigations, Shaul Elovich, the former owner of Bezeq, his wife, Iris Elovich, as well as, Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, were also indicted for bribery.
Bravo – bold move
It’s a brave and admirable move by the Attorney General. It shows that Israel is a constitutional state that combats corruption and fraud. This is good news for the rest of the world.