BREAKING: Netanyahu to be indicted on charges of bribery and fraud


TEL AVIV – Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday his decision to in fact indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one case of bribery and two cases of fraud and breach of trust. All indictments are pending a hearing.

The announcement comes after more than two years of investigations and less than two months before Israel’s highly anticipated April 9th elections. It’s also the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister will face criminal charges.

At the same time, these charges represent both paltry sums as well as politicking normally seen as part of the game. So why is Netanyahu being charged for playing it?

Netanyahu has successfully secured power in Israel, being in power now for ten years, and there are few remaining constitutional methods remaining to remove him.

Many Israeli elites would like to see Netanyahu removed, due to his long-time in power, attempts to create a cult of personality around himself – all of which would have been acceptable and until now, was acceptable. However, Netanyahu’s decision making process and the results of his tenure have been less than satisfactory for the elites running the Zionist entity.

He has been unable to successfully secure Israel’s interests in a number of regional matters, which place Israel’s regional hegemonic status in extreme jeopardy.

His assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and support for Morsi, on the basis that Egypt would enter into the Syrian conflict on the foundation of Israel’s interests, failed. Morsi was ultimately removed, and a ‘status quo’ candidate, agreed to by Russia and Saudi Arabia was assisted into power – Al Sisi.

Netanyahu’s strategy on Iraq, which was premised upon negating Iranian influence in the post-war country, by supporting ISIS on the one hand, and bribing ‘legitimate’ Iraqi parliamentarians on the other, is quickly losing steam. Iran’s influence in Iraq is growing. In Iraq, Israel had gambled upon unfettered access to Iraq’s oil and water resources in order to prop-up the vampiristic Israeli economy, which it did enjoy for some time.

His strategy on Syria – to unseat Assad – has also failed. This was a major blow, and Assad foiled his attempts to make Israel both a producing and transit country for a new energy pipeline project that would be built through an FSA/ISIS controlled Syria – this failed to materialize.

Talks on saving an energy policy, by working a sea-route through Cyprus and on to mainland Greece, have moved at a snail’s pace.

Domestically, and perhaps as a result of his failed foreign policy, he has failed to provide an economy that works for Israel’s highly educated middle-class. This is bad for Israeli businesses internally, as Israelis have significantly less purchasing power than they did a decade ago. While Netanyahu possess the political machine to effectively ‘steal’ the upcoming election, he is increasingly unpopular in real polling among critical layers of the electorate.

Netanyahu’s brutal policy on Palestinians have contributed to a significant erosion of Israel’s prestige and has failed here in terms of perception management. Long-gone is the view in the west that Israel is a legitimate player looking for a real peace plan and a two-state solution – an image Israel enjoyed coming away from the infamous Camp David agreement with then Palestinian leader, Arafat. This has contributed greatly to the BDS movement in western countries, wherein western consumers engage in a boycott targeting Israel.

The technical and legal details are best explained in the following:

  • In case 4000 — which involves Netanyahu’s relationship with Israel’s leading telecommunications tycoon — the indictment is for bribery.
  • In case 2000 — Netanyahu’s alleged deal with a newspaper publisher for favorable coverage — the indictment is for fraud and breach of trust.
  • In case 1000 — involving Netanyahu allegedly taking $200,000 from businessmen in return for promoting their interests — the indictment is for fraud and breach of trust.

Israeli police in December recommended Mandelblit indict Netanyahu and his wife for bribery due to their relationship with Israel’s leading telecommunications tycoon. This was the third time in the last year police had recommended Netanyahu be indicted for bribery.

The Israeli police recommended that the country’s attorney general indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu for alleged bribery due to their relationship with Israel’s leading telecommunication tycoon.

This is a very big deal. Case 4000, as it is widely known, is the third time in the last year the police recommended Netanyahu be indicted for bribery. The previous recommendations dealt with Netanyahu allegedly taking “gifts” worth $200,000 from businessmen in return for allegedly promoting their interests (Case 1000) and an alleged bribe deal between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Israel’s largest newspaper (Case 2000). But the allegations in Case 4000 are the gravest of all the corruption investigations against Netanyahu.

Case 4000 has been investigated by the elite Israeli police unit Lahav 433, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI, and the Israeli Securities Authority since February 2018.

  • Netanyahu and his wife allegedly took bribes from Shaul Elovitz, a telecommunications tycoon who controls Israel’s biggest telecom company, Bezeq.
  • According to the police statement, Netanyahu, who at the time was also the telecom minister, allegedly gave Elovitz regulatory benefits worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In return, Netanyahu and his wife meddled in the content of Walla, one of Israel’s major news websites owned by Elovitz, and demanded positive coverage.

The police recommended that the attorney general indict Netanyahu for taking bribes, fraud, breach of trust and acceptance under false pretenses. The police recommended that Sara Netanyahu be indicted for taking bribes, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

  • The police statement stressed that Netanyahu and Elovitz had a “relationship based on bribes” and that Netanyahu and his associates brazenly meddled — sometimes on a daily basis — in the coverage of Walla’s website. It added that Netanyahu and his associates even tried to influence appointments of news editors and reporters in order to promote the Netanyahu family’s interests.
  • During the investigation, the Israeli police recruited two state witnesses: Shlomo Filber, a Netanyahu confidant who was appointed as the director general of the telecom ministry and executed Netanyahu’s orders regarding Bezeq telecommunications, and Nir Hefetz, the Netanyahu family’s spin doctor who was in charge of the meddling with Walla’s website.
  • The police also recommended that Elovitz and his wife be indicted for giving bribes to the Netanyahus as well as New York-based Israeli businessman Zeev Rubinstein, a close confidant of the Netanyahu family, for mediation in the bribe deal.

Netanyahu’s reaction was a total rejection of the allegations: “The police recommendations about me and my wife don’t surprise anybody — and so is the timing of their publication. Those recommendations were leaked before the investigation even started. The police recommendations have no legal standing, and previous police recommendations regarding other politicians were rejected by the attorney general. I am sure that after the authorized officials will examine the issue they will conclude there was nothing.”

  • Israeli opposition leaders attacked Netanyahu, claiming he is corrupt and calling for his resignation.
  • Ministers in the Likud, Netanyahu’s party, issued statements attacking the police and defending Netanyahu.

At this time, FRN has no particular information regarding Netanyahu’s ability to beat these charges, nor if the charges themselves will see Netanyahu deposed.


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