Israel Must Weigh Two Threats: Corruption or Iran? | News News

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Israel Must Weigh Two Threats: Corruption or Iran? | News News
The phone alerts began to pop up early in the evening. The police, Israelis were informed, were about to reveal their recommendations as to whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on accusations of fraud and bribery. By 8 p.m., Israelis were glued to their televisions and computers, waiting to hear what the police would say. Netanyahu had sought to block the police from making such public recommendations, but the Supreme Court overruled him and now the police were about to address the public. The recommendations were clear. Netanyahu, the police said, should be charged with bribery and breach of trust in two matters. The first investigation, known as Case 1000, alleges that Netanyahu accepted lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen in exchange for influence. Case 2000, known as the Yediot Achronot affair, alleges that the prime minister offered the editor of that newspaper, Arnon Mozes, support for a bill that would weaken Israel Hayom, the newspaper owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Mozes’s biggest competitor, in exchange for favorable coverage in the press. The police also recommended that Mozes be indicted. Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit will now consider the charges. QuickTake Why Netanyahu Finds Himself in Legal Jeopardy Netanyahu, as expected, denied any wrongdoing, and equally predictably, the opposition in the Knesset called on him to resign immediately. Israeli law does not require a prime minister to step down simply because the police recommend he be indicted. He may not have to resign even if he is indicted, unless he is eventually convicted. The indictment could take a year to come; a conviction could take even longer. What could bring Netanyahu down would be the collapse of his coalition. At least for now, though, his important coalition partners are sticking by him. Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulanu (All of Us) Party, could topple the coalition by leaving it, but he has no plans to do so. Naftali Bennett, head of the ri...
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