Ratan Tata Denies Involvement In Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Scam

After bribery allegations Netanyahu’s government stable – for now

Tel Aviv Diary: Israeli Cops Accuse Bibi of Two Counts of Bribery

Against this rather dramatic backdrop, the unceasing speculation on Bibi's guilt or innocence now drives the news cycle in Israel.

Hefetz also called for support of current Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, who has come under criticism by Netanyahu for his handling of the investigations. If charges are filed, they will be the first against a sitting prime minister in Israel.

It is this unprecedented creation of the cult of political personality that has allowed Netanyahu to cultivate a myth of being "Mr. Security" despite being more reticent to use force than most previous prime ministers in Israeli history, a champion of settlements despite building them at a slower rate than his predecessors, and an effective sideliner of his political rivals. His wife Sara faces criminal charges of using state monies to buy $100,000 in catered meals.

In the first, he is suspected of accepting almost $300,000 in gifts, including champagne and fancy cigars, from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

The allegations have dealt a humiliating blow to the prime minister and sent shockwaves through Israeli politics. The police have recommended that Netanyahu not only be charged with "Conduct Unbecoming a public servant", but with bribery, atoo.

In other words, such transactions will be subject to the rigours of common-sense analysis. In other words, Milchan and Packer weren't sending over crates of luxury goodies for nothing.

We will have to wait for the independent counsel in the USA and the Attorney General in Israel to finish their work and make their determinations. "[It's] full of holes like swiss cheese and it doesn't hold water".

The wild card in all this is the Israeli public and its dissipating tolerance for a right-wing coalition government dependent on extremist religious parties for its survival.

He said all the allegations over the years against him had one goal: "to topple me from government".

After a painstaking year and a half investigation by the Israeli police, the police issued a non-binding recommendation that there is credible evidence that the Prime Minister has engaged in bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.

With months to go before the attorney general makes his decision regarding indictment, the way Netanyahu navigates this particular storm will have an impact far beyond Israel's borders. Legally, the Golan Heights are part of Syria, occupied by Israel. Corruption is accepted with characteristic Jewish nihilism but judged and punished with impunity.

"Someone with such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not even deny, can not continue to serve as prime minister with responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel's citizens", Lapid said. Lapid has responded saying he had merely answered the questions investigators asked him. The law, proposed in 2014, failed to pass because the governing coalition collapsed, leading to new elections.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

Vivian Bercovici was Canada's ambassador to Israel from 2014 to 2016.

Latest News