Netanyahu Indicted on Corruption Charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, charged Netanyahu in all three corruption cases for which the prime minister was investigated. The 63-page indictment charges Netanyahu with accepting hundreds of thousands in luxury gifts from billionaire friends. It also charges him with trading valuable favors with Israeli media and telecom czars in exchange for positive news coverage. Netanyahu called the charges “false” and “politically motivated,” saying they were an “attempted coup” against him. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Several Israeli politicians called for Netanyahu to resign in the wake of the indictments. Netanyahu’s main political rival, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party, tweeted a video of Netanyahu from 11 years ago when Netanyahu called upon then prime minister Ehud Olmert to resign amid corruption allegations. In the video, Netanyahu said, “A prime minister who is immersed in investigations has no moral or public mandate to make fateful decisions for the State of Israel.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Meanwhile, the Labor party is expected to file petitions in Israel’s highest court to force Netanyahu to step down. Under Israeli law, however, a sitting prime minister is not required to resign while under indictment, only if he is convicted. According to Amir Peretz, chair of the Labor-Gesher alliance party, the party “will argue that given the fact that the prime minister heads a transitional government, which did not gain the confidence of the Knesset, he must declare himself incapacitated as the law requires of government ministers.” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Israeli Attorney General Mandelblit issued a statement, however, saying that Netanyahu does not have to step down, saying the issue should “be left in the public-political sphere.” Mandelblit did opine, however, that whether Netanyahu could remain in his various ministerial roles would have to be examined. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

About 10,000 people protested in Tel Aviv, calling on Netanyahu to resign. Reported by i24 News. Read more…