FULL TEXT: Netanyahu's Speech to Thousands of Supporters at Tel Aviv Rally

Embattled over corruption probes, Netanyahu slams 'fake news', the Israeli left and his political rivals

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event by his Likud Party to show support for its leader in Tel Aviv, August 9, 2017.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event by his Likud Party to show support for its leader in Tel Aviv, August 9, 2017. AMIR COHEN/REUTERS

Thank you. Thank you, dear friends. Thank you for coming from all over the country. You move me. I love you. A special thanks to you, Coalition whip David Bitan, for the initiative and organization of this gathering. Thank you, my colleagues, the ministers; my friends the members of Knesset, the mayors, the heads of [Likud] branches, the members of branches. Thanks to all of you for your great support of me and my beloved wife, Sara, who walks with me the whole length of the road.

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My friends, in recent days, you have flooded us with support and love the likes of which I can't remember. And I, as you know, have been here for a few years now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This morning, one of you wisely told me: "Bibi, they don’t want just to bring you down. They want to bring down all of us, the Likud and the national camp." He told me: "They know that they can’t beat us at the polls, so they're trying to bypass democracy and topple us without elections."

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I'm telling you, not for nothing, because they know that it's not for nothing that we win time after time in elections, that we've brought the State of Israel to the best position in its history.

We’ve made our country a rising international power in security, in intelligence, in cyber affairs, in economics, in technology – in so many fields. Now, you remember that the fake news media have been hammering us in a unified choir, as it is their way, that if we don't withdraw from the territory of the homeland, Israel will be isolated, weak and abandoned. Do you remember cries? "Isolation, Isolation, Isolation." How did that old man said with a new beard who was once prime minister for a short time [Ehud Barak] – not one of the more successful ones – put it? "The political tsunami is on the way." What tsunami? What isolation? What nonsense. The State of Israel is in an unprecedented political boom, and the flow of visits to Israel and my flow of invitations abroad is unprecedented: India, China, the United States of course, Africa – countless countries and continents.

Now, you see, because both the left and the media – it's the same thing, you know – they are enlisting now in an obsessive, unprecedented hunting trip against me my family with a goal to carry out a government coup. Their goal is to apply unacceptable and incessant pressure on law enforcement authorities to indict at all costs, regardless of the truth and justice. The thought police in the media are working full time, 24/7, and everybody has to align themselves with that line – and woe be to anyone who deviates from it!

Today, I read a post by a wise man, and he asked something that you brought up, David: "How is that the prime minister should to be investigated for my conversations with the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, but there is no need to investigate the ten MKs that voted for the law against Israel Hayom, which would have brought in tens, maybe hundreds of millions to that very same publisher?" By the way, those MKs received gentle treatment from the media." What a celebration of hypocrisy! But it's no wonder.

You saw the sign at the left-wing demonstrations in Petah Tikva: “Netanyahu is guilty until proven innocent.” Listen carefully to what the initiator of the left-wing demonstrations said: "We can’t bring down Netanyahu with elections, so we’ll bring him down with investigations." I quote: "We don't have Russians. We don't have Mizrahi Jews. We don't have a periphery. We don't have flag bearers. We're in trouble."

So, my friends, we're not in trouble. We have Mizrahi Jews, and we have Ashenazi Jews. We have new immigrants, and we have veteran [immigrants]. We have secular people, and we have religious people. We have Amona, and we have Dimona. We have the people, the People of Israel. And we’re waving with pride the flag of Israel and will continue to do so for many years to come.

The media and the left that it serves – it’s hard for them to accept that, so they produce endless affairs and articles and headlines so that maybe something will stick. If not submarines, then cigars. If not cigars, then conversations with a publisher. If not a publisher, then Case 1000. If not 1000, then 2000, then 3000, 4000, 5000!

They’re demanding from the law enforcement authorities: "Give us something; it doesn’t matter what." Now, my friends, naturally, I can’t address every bit of nonsense that's said in this media flood, but this isn't the first time that the media choir says that there's a fictitious cloud of corruption. In 1992, they brought down Yitzhak Shamir with a baseless accusations of "They're corrupt, enough already." They brought us the Oslo disaster and the exploding buses.

In 1999, they repeated the same exercise with the associations of Barak and a new day dawned – a dawn of a day that brought the second intifada and more than 1,000 dead Israelis. Now, they’re trying to repeat it for the third time, and they're doing it more strongly. And not just to me, but to my wife, as well.

They won't tell the public – never – that she supports and visits bereaved families, Holocaust survivors, children with cancer, lone soldiers. They won’t tell that.

Instead, they prefer to deal with things at the top of the world: the procedure for replacing a lightbulb, trays, the cup of tea that was served to her 97-year-old father, a righteous man, on his deathbed. What a shame. Morning, noon and night, they give explosive headlines. "New details!" "Dramatic developments!" "The parade of people questioned!" There are rumours that [my dog] Kaya will soon be summoned for questioning under caution.

I can only tell you what I’ve been saying from the very beginning. There will be nothing because there is nothing.

Now, I know that what I'm saying upsets some people. For example, we heard the day before yesterday that senior Palestinian officials, and I quote, “are looking forward to Netanyahu's fall because of the investigations." Obviously, they also want Israel to withdraw to the '67 lines and establish a Palestinian state on the outskirts of Kfar Saba. My friends, they too will be disappointed, because it won't happen.

But I have to disappoint someone else. I have to disappoint the Haaretz newspaper, which this morning – that respected newspaper – published an article that made me an explicit offer: Just withdraw from Judea and Samaria, and we'll leave you alone. So here’s my answer: No! No, thank you! If the left wants to confront us with its political and economic outlook, it would be useful to do that at the ballot box. And in the next elections, with God's help and with their help, we won't get 30 seats, but 40 seats!

Thank you very much, my friends. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the love. Thank you for coming together. Thank you all. Thank you very much.