News

World

Netanyahu Slams Impending Fraud Indictments as ‘Attempted Coup’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 13, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday slammed the planned indictments against him, saying the charges amounted to “an attempted coup against a prime minister.”

Just two hours earlier, Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit announced he would charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in the culmination of three long-simmering corruption cases.

The most serious of the charges is bribery. Netanyahu is accused of using his position to provide favorable business conditions to media mogul Shaul Elovitch, in return for more favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News website.

“This is a sad day,” Netanyahu said at a press conference at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem. “One needs to be blind to not see that something bad is happening in the legal system.”

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the cases. During the press conference, he said the country’s legal system was “polluted,” and that “they didn’t look for the truth, they looked to come after me.”

Mandelblit, who was appointed to his current post by Netanyahu, said earlier that he reached his decision to indict the prime minister “with a heavy heart.”

“In the prime minister’s affairs I found there was evidence pointing to grievous actions allegedly being committed, which carry a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” Mandelblit said. ““For this reason it is my duty by law to indict. It is not a choice. It is an obligation.”

Mandelblit’s announcement came at a tumultuous time for Israel’s political landscape. The country has had two national elections within the past year, and in both instances Netanyahu and chief rival Benny Gantz were unable to form governing coalitions.

Israel’s parliament now has a 21-day period during which any member may try to form a coalition. If the efforts fail, the country will hold an unprecedented third national election within a year.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

On Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has named his 2020 running mate: authoritarianism. American prosecutors wield awesome and terrible powers that lend themselves easily to abuse, and Senator Kamala Harris, formerly the attorney general of California, is an enthusiastic abuser of them. Harris was a leader in the junta of Democratic ... Read More
Elections

On Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has named his 2020 running mate: authoritarianism. American prosecutors wield awesome and terrible powers that lend themselves easily to abuse, and Senator Kamala Harris, formerly the attorney general of California, is an enthusiastic abuser of them. Harris was a leader in the junta of Democratic ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Someone might want to remind Joe Biden, who’s just picked progressive California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, that his vice-president-to-be believes Catholics are unfit to serve in our nation’s courts. (Biden, of course, as I considered at length on the homepage today, has spent his entire ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Someone might want to remind Joe Biden, who’s just picked progressive California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, that his vice-president-to-be believes Catholics are unfit to serve in our nation’s courts. (Biden, of course, as I considered at length on the homepage today, has spent his entire ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Is No Moderate

Kamala Harris, they assure us, is a “moderate.” A moderate what? Moderate compared to whom? Senator Harris is a moderate autocrat. During the Democratic primary debates, she vowed to ban so-called assault weapons by executive order. When Joe Biden pointed out that the president has no such power and is ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Is No Moderate

Kamala Harris, they assure us, is a “moderate.” A moderate what? Moderate compared to whom? Senator Harris is a moderate autocrat. During the Democratic primary debates, she vowed to ban so-called assault weapons by executive order. When Joe Biden pointed out that the president has no such power and is ... Read More