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.

Most Popular

Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More