Netanyahu Responds to Police Bribery Recommendations: I Will Continue to Lead, All My Life I've Worked for Israel

Police say Netanyahu 'acted against public interest,' received gifts worth 1 million shekels

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem December 17, 2017.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem December 17, 2017. Credit: \ POOL/ REUTERS

Israel Police recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two corruption cases on Tuesday. In his first reaction, Netanyahu said that all his life he has worked for Israel and vowed to remain as the country's prime minister.

To really understand Israeli politics and the Netanyahu cases - subscribe to Haaretz

Netanyahu addressed the public in a live broadcast at 8:45 P.M.

"These recommendations have no weight in a democratic society," Netanayhu said, adding that he will "continue to lead Israel responsibly and faithfully."

Bibi bombshell explained: Your guide to the Netanyahu casesNetanyahu's all-out war of self preservation heralds bedlam and mayhem for Israel | Analysis ■ Netanyahu's media obsession has brought about his downfall | Analysis ■ The Israeli police recommended indicting Netanyahu, so what happens now?The countdown to Netanyahu's departure begins | Analysis

He said that everything he did was for the sake of the country, "not for cigars from friends and not for better media coverage," a reference to the two cases in which he may be indicted. "Nothing will have sway and nothing will sway me, not even the incessant attacks against me," Netanyahu said.

"Great efforts have been taken to open no fewer than 15 investigations and probes to remove me from power. All of them started off as breaking news, some of them with shocking police recommendations," said the prime minister. "Every single one of these attempts, without exception, led to nothing. I know the truth, so I can tell you, this time it will also lead to nothing."

"The authorities will not accept half of the police's recommendations, and they will lead to nothing," he added.

Netanyahu doubted the objectivity of the investigation. "There is a shadow lurking behind the recommendations publicized tonight," he said. "It is impossible to get rid of the impression that they are influenced by the groundless feelings of the investigators who believe that I plotted against them. ... These allegations are completely false and ungrounded."

The two cases are the so-called Case 1000 – in which Netanyahu is suspected of accepting lavish gifts from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests – and Case 2000, which alleges that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel's largest paid newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for hurting its free rival, Israel Hayom.

>> Bibi bombshell explained: Your guide to the Netanyahu cases <<

Netanyahu has maintained he did nothing wrong, claiming on numerous occassions that "there will be nothing, because there is nothing."

According to the police, after Netanyahu was elected, the volume of gifts he received rose significantly. Together, they are valued at 1 million shekels (around $280,000).

The publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, Arnon Mozes, will also be charged, as will Arnon Milchan, who allegedly provided Netanyahu with gifts.

Regarding Milchan, the police said that in return for the gifts, Netanyahu pushed for the so-called Milchan law, which cuts taxes for Israelis returning to Israel after spending time abroad.

According to the police, Netanyahu acted "against public interests."

In the days leading up to the police's recommendations, Netanyahu had openly questioned the integrity of the police commissioner and other high-ranking officers tasked with the investigations

In an interview broadcast last Wednesday, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich claimed "powerful people" have been gathering information about the investigators in Netanyahu's cases.

>> Scoundrel or statesman? Netanyahu's two-front war against Iran and Israeli police | Analysis

Netanyahu responded in a late-night Facebook post, calling the claims "ludicrous" and saying the police chief's comments "cast a shadow" over the investigation. In the following days Netanyahu continued to criticize the police, including the head of the anti-fraud unit, Lahav 433.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN
A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Progressive Jews Urge ADL Chief to Apologize for Calling Out Democratic Activist

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders with Jessica Cisneros in San Antonio last week.

It’s AIPAC vs. Bernie Sanders in Too-close-to-call Texas Democratic Runoff

U.S. President Joe Biden. Making a historic pivot to Asia.

Biden Does What His Three Predecessors Talked About Yet Failed to Do

Meir Kahane addressing his followers during a demonstration in Jerusalem, in 1984.

Why the U.S. Removed Kahane Chai From Terrorist Blacklist