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Whats Next for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

JERUSALEM For the third time this year, the Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on bribery, fraud and other charges.

But Mr. Netanyahu, who denies all wrongdoing, is not giving up easily, and it is far from clear what will happen next.

His fate now hangs on a combination of factors, including a decision by the attorney general on whether to indict him, possible court rulings on the legality of his remaining in office and the wild card, the will of the voters.

So while the accusations could well end Mr. Netanyahus career after four terms in office, there are just enough variables that could allow the wiliest of Israels political survivors to hang on to power.

Here are some of the options for how his conundrum could play out.

The next legal step is for the state prosecutors and the attorney general to decide whether to press charges in any of the three cases brought by the police. As prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu has the right to argue his case in a hearing before the authorities make any final decision to prosecute him in court.

He could end up making history not only as one of Israels longest serving prime ministers but as the first sitting one to be charged with a crime.

But political analysts say he is likely to draw the wild card and seek new elections first.

[How Mr. Netanyahus obsession with his image could bring his downfall.]

Israel is already in an election year, with national balloting due by November 2019, but elections may be called earlier. Analysts say the best time for Mr. Netanyahu to stand in an election would be after he has been summoned to a hearing and before the attorney general makes his final decision.

Assuming he wins the vote, he would then be fighting his case from a newly mandated position of strength.

For now, none of his declared opponents come close to Mr. Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Party in the polls. An election that takes place earlier rather than later would allow Mr. Netanyahu to run practically unopposed, some experts say, before any new potential rivals could get organized and gain ground.

In theory, decisions about whether to indict Mr. Netanyahu or not rest purely on the law and the evidence. In reality, analysts say, politics could play a role.

The attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, is in a delicate position.

A former military advocate general, he was selected by Mr. Netanyahu for the countrys top legal job. Once considered a Netanyahu loyalist, Mr. Mandelblit approved and has overseen the police investigations so far.

He has already brought fraud charges against Mr. Netanyahus wife, Sara, accusing her of misusing about $100,000 in public funds in her management of the prime ministers official residence. Mrs. Netanyahu is currently on trial.

But a sitting prime minister has never been indicted. There is pressure on Mr. Mandelblit to move swiftly. But there is also pressure to make sure he has an airtight case before handing down an indictment that could destroy a popularly elected prime minister.

The person in the most difficult position of all, other than Netanyahu, is Mandelblit, said Prof. Shmuel Sandler, an expert on Israeli electoral politics at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

If the election campaign has begun, however, it could make it easier for Mr. Mandelblit to press charges, Professor Sandler said. Because the voters would be choosing a new government anyway, there would be less risk that Mr. Mandelblit would be accused of bringing down a popular one.

On the flip side, if he weighs in with an indictment during the campaign, he could be seen as trying to sway the election. The alternative, however, would be keeping voters in the dark about whether a leading candidate is on the brink of being charged with a crime.

Critics have accused Mr. Mandelblit of foot-dragging in the cases concerning the prime minister. Mr. Mandelblit says he will make a decision as soon as possible.

If Mr. Netanyahu is indicted, legally he can continue to serve as prime minister while he is a defendant. An accused prime minister is not obligated to resign until a final conviction in court.

But if he were charged, critics would probably petition the Supreme Court to force him to step down. The Supreme Court has ruled that a cabinet minister charged with a crime must step down. The judges would have to decide whether the same standard applied to the prime minister.

If, at that point, Mr. Netanyahu had been re-elected, he could make a political argument to bolster his legal one. That argument, says Amit Segal, the political analyst of the Israeli television News Channel, would be: More than a million voters knew exactly what the charges were against me and yet they elected me again.

Then, the Supreme Court would be faced with the prospect of reversing the will of the voters.

Thats why Netanyahu desperately needs to be re-elected, Mr. Segal said in an interview on Monday. For him, the next election is not only a political challenge. Thats the least of his worries. First and foremost, its a legal one.

There has also been speculation in the Israeli news media over the possibility of Mr. Netanyahu reaching a deal, if he is prosecuted, in which he would step down or not run again in return for avoiding jail time.

Mr. Netanyahu presides over a fragile coalition that holds a one-vote majority in the 120-seat Parliament.

If he is indicted while in office, his coalition partners will have to decide whether to stick with him or to topple his narrow, right-wing and religious government.

Since the parties in the government mostly represent similar right-wing constituencies, they are wary of prematurely collapsing a government that is advancing their agenda. Mr. Netanyahu has reminded them of the trauma of 1992 when right-wing parties brought down a right-wing government only to watch the left take power and agree to what the right saw as the disastrous Oslo peace process with the Palestinians.

Some of the coalition parties are in electoral peril themselves and may not want to risk an election any sooner than they have to.

Aryeh Deri, the interior minister and leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, one of Likuds four remaining coalition partners, is facing possible charges, including fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and money laundering.

Contentious legislation, such as a new law regulating ultra-Orthodox enlistment into the military, which must be approved by Jan. 15, could also rock the coalition and bring on new elections.

Short of that, few believe any parties are about to bolt.

The entire political establishment has become so accustomed to Netanyahu being in power that nobody can believe in change, Sima Kadmon, a political columnist, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on Monday.

As if Netanyahu were the sun and the moon, and all the others were only stars, and everything depended on ones location in this galaxy, she wrote. But this change will happen.

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Whats Next for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

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Israeli police recommend indicting Benjamin Netanyahu

JERUSALEM Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges related to a corruption case involving Israels telecom giant, prompting immediate calls for his resignation.

Police say their investigation has established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeqs subsidiary news website, Walla.

Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases. One involves accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolves around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

The police recommendations regarding me and my wife dont surprise anyone, Netanyahu said in a statement. These recommendations were decided upon and leaked even before the investigation began.

The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused. Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence. Netanyahu held the governments communications portfolio until last year and oversaw regulation in the field. Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.

Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a bribe-based relationship.

From 2012 to 2017 the prime minister and his associates blatantly intervened on a near-daily basis in the Walla news site, using the connections with Elovitch to influence appointments there and to promote flattering articles and pictures while quelling critical stories of the prime minister and his family, police said.

Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family.

The most serious bribery case yet leaves no room for doubt: a prime minister who is accused of the most serious offense for a public servant in the Israeli rule book cannot keep serving one minute longer, said Tamar Zandberg, head of the dovish opposition Meretz party.

The prime minister has no moral mandate to keep his seat and must resign today. Israel must go to elections.

Other opposition figures, including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, quickly joined in the call for Netanyahu to resign.

Netanyahus colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job. The appointment of Alsheikhs potential successor is being held up after a government-appointed committee rejected his candidacy.

The other coalition partners have previously deferred bolting, saying they would await a formal decision by Israels attorney general to press charges. But the latest development further threatens the wobbly government, already weakened by the recent departure of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his party. Netanyahus coalition currently enjoys only the slimmest of parliamentary majorities.

Elections are currently scheduled for November 2019.

Police are also recommending that charges be brought against Netanyahus wife, Sara, who has been at the center of much of the corruption allegations surrounding the longtime Israeli leader. Reports have surfaced of Sara Netanyahu relaying requests to Bezeq officials.

She has already been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending roughly $100,000 on private meals at the prime ministers official residence, even as there was a full-time chef on staff.

Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of extravagant living and abusive behavior. In 2016, a court ruled she abused an employee and awarded the man $42,000 in damages. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied, and of excessive spending and charging the state for her private, expensive tastes.

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Israeli police recommend indicting Benjamin Netanyahu

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Israli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted

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Associated Press Published 4:03 a.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018 | Updated 1:28 p.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018

The prime minister’s wife was charged with fraud and breach of trust in a separate case earlier this year.Video provided by Newsy Newslook

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently spoke in Washington, D.C. where he said that Iran is becoming more of a threat to the world.(Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli police are recommending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant.

Police say Sunday they have established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.

The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeq’s news website, Walla.

Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second over trading positive media coverage for advantageous legislation for a newspaper.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

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Israli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted

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Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Iran of having secret nuclear …

Netanyahu Show and Tell at UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly got a little show and tell from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his address to the UN and used his time to point the finger directly at Iran, as he has in previous speeches in the same forum. Netanyahu held up maps and photos of what he claimed was a building that housed Iran’s “secret weapons programme”

“Today, I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran. A secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons programme.”

He then proceeded to repeat the claim on his Twitter account, embedding a picture of the building from the air.

It’s not a far cry from what he’s done before at the UNGA. In 2012, he showed up with a cartoon bomb drawing in hand and proceeded to illustrate it with a red line to point out the moment at which the international community should act to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran has refuted the claims made yesterday.

“The world will only laugh loudly at this type of false, meaningless and unncessary speech,” said Iran foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi

A US intelligence official speaking to Reuters called the claims, somewhat misleading. First, we have known about this facility for some time, and its full of file cabinets and paper, not aluminum tubes for centrifuges, and second, so far as anyone knows, there is nothing in it that would allow Iran to break out of the JCPOA any faster than it otherwise could.

Iran has been a point of contention from the first day of this session of the General Assembly. US President Trump and Iran’s President Rouhani used their speeches to attack one another, with Trump asking other countries to join him in isolating the Islamic Republic’s leadership.

Under Trump, the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May, leaving EU countries scrambling to make it work without them. Further US sanctions on Iran, this time on oil, come into effect on November 4.

Irans leaders sow chaos, death and destruction, he said. They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.”

Rouhani hit back four hours later by likening new US sanctions to “economic terrorism.”

EU representatives have spent some of their time in New York this week meeting with Iranian officials in a continued effort to salvage the nuclear deal, but it’s unclear how successful any attempts will be without the political and economic clout of the US.

Today is the last day of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. US President Donald’s Trump’s speech on Monday was undoubtedly the most anticipated moment the American President followed up his explosive speech last year with an equal focus on his “America First” agenda. It’s still jarring to hear his talk of sovereignty in the spiritual house of cooperation and diplomacy, but this year there was a sense of preparation as his policies are well known.

We will never surrender Americas sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy, Trump said to a silent crowd. America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”

He also touted his own achievements, drawing laughter after his claim that his administration had more accomplishments than any other thus far.

President Macron of France then did his best to be Trump’s foil. Macron may have been out auditioning for the leader of a multilateral free world as his speech highlighted the values of cooperation and the pitfalls of nationalism.

“Don’t accept the erosion of multilateralism,” Macron said. “Dont accept our history unravelling. Our children are watching. Let us address the crisis, let us work together to combat these inequalities on a human level, mindful of our history.”

“Nationalism always leads to defeat,” he continued. “If courage is lacking in the defense of fundamental principles, international order becomes fragile and this can lead as we have already seen twice, to global war. We saw that with our very own eyes.”

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Meet Trumps Envoy-at-Large: Benjamin Netanyahu

LONDON

A couple of years ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was shunned by the White House.

During a conversation believed to be off-record with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the 2011 G-20 summit, President Barack Obama didn’t disagree when Sarkozy called Netanyahu a “liar.” And on the occasions Obama and Netanyahu did meet, the strained body language paid testimony to the mutual hostility.

The two clashed over the peace process, Netanyahus Jewish settlements policy in the West Bank and the Arab spring.

With Donald Trump in the White House that has changed a shift dramatically symbolized in December when the U.S. President announced Washingtons recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv.

The Israeli leader is now feted by a Trump administration which sees him not only as an ideological ally but increasingly, say diplomats and analysts, as an envoy-at-large, blazing a trail for President Trump to Moscow and marshaling his admirers among the populist nationalist leaders of Central Europe as well as orchestrating with the U.S. administration other diplomatic initiatives.

According to Arab and U.S. officials, the Israeli leader has been a key advocate for establishing a new security and political partnership between the U.S. and the six Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states as well as Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Irans expansion in the region. Behind the scenes, Netanyahu has been building strong security ties with Egypt and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf, all of whom see Iran and Islamists as threats that outweigh their historical commitments to the Palestinians.

Nicknamed the Arab NATO, the Trump administration has been quietly pushing ahead with the idea, officially known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA).

On Friday, the Reuters news agency reported the Trump administration hopes MESA will be discussed at a summit provisionally scheduled to take place in Washington in October. Netanyahu has been a sherpa [emissary) helping to guide this effort, a Gulf diplomat told VOA.

The Israeli leader wields arguably more clout in Washington than any of his predecessors, with some Israeli diplomats bragging sometimes it is hard to know whos working for whom.

Earlier this month, an Israeli public broadcaster aired a video clip of Netanyahu telling senior members of his Likud party that he had helped to defeat European efforts to dissuade Trump from withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and that he was responsible for finally persuading Trump to abandon it.

We convinced the U.S. president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement, Netanyahu said. And the Israeli leader has been tireless in selling to other American allies Trumps withdrawal from the deal, signed by Barack Obama in 2015 in which Tehran agreed to nuclear curbs in return for sanctions relief.

In June, Netanyahu went on a whirlwind four-day tour of European capitals, meeting with national leaders in Berlin, Paris and London, part of a diplomatic campaign of attrition, his aides said, to get the Europeans to block Irans expansion of its military and political influence in the region.

He got more of a hearing than he would have in the past, say his aides. As his trip wound down, they claimed he had made progress in persuading European leaders that they need to do more to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East and contain Tehrans military ambitions in the region.

From being isolated on the World stage during the Obama era, Netanyahu, thanks to his ties to the Trump White House, has become a mover and shaker, helping to shape an arc of strongmen from Washington to Moscow, where he has nurtured close ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whom he talks with on average twice a week, say Israeli diplomats.

Both President Trump and his Russian counterpart singled out Netanyahu for praise during their joint press conference earlier this month in Helsinki. We have worked with Israel for decades – there has never been a country closer to us, and Putin is also very close to Israel, we have both talked to Benjamin Netanyahu, and both countries want to help Israel defend itself, Trump said. The U.S. President said later in an interview with Fox News that he was under the impression Putin is a fan of Bibi, referring to the Israeli leader’s nickname.

Netanyahu’s enhanced standing on the World stage stands in contrast, though, to his increasingly beleaguered position politically in Israel, where he is engulfed in a series of corruption scandals and facing mounting public dissatisfaction over the rising cost of living and disapproval of what Israeli academic Jonathan Rynhold has argued, is his pandering to the political parties which represent the Ultra-Orthodox, known in Israel as the Haredim.

Nonetheless, Rynhold noted in an expert comment for Britains Chatham House: Polls show that Netanyahu continues to be viewed as the most suitable person to serve as prime minister, even if a majority of Israelis are dissatisfied with his performance.

Surveys over the last several months have suggested that while a majority of Israelis see Netanyahu as corrupt, they would still vote for him. While his party has slid somewhat in the last few weeks, polls indicate it continues in lead with some analysts saying the drop had more to do with his flip-flopping on social issues than his policy on Trump and the Palestinians.

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Israeli police find ‘sufficient evidence’ to indict …

According to a police statement published late Tuesday, authorities found evidence of “accepting bribes, fraud, and breach of trust.”

In a televised statement, Netanyahu said that the allegations against him would be dismissed, repeating what has become his catchphrase, “There will be nothing because there is nothing.”

In a statement given moments before police issued their official findings, he said: “I think about the good of the country not for personal reasons of the press, but only for the country, and nothing will stop me from doing this, not even the attacks against me, and believe me they’re never ending.

“And, therefore, today isn’t different from any other days which I’ve been through in past 20 years.”

When asked whether the US had any reaction to the police statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “The only thing I have to say about that is that the United States has a very strong relationship, not only with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but also the Israeli government. We’re certainly aware of it, but we consider it to be an internal Israeli matter.”

In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas totaling 1 million shekels (approximately $280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewelry and more, from 2007 through 2016.

The case has focused primarily on Netanyahu’s relationship with Israeli billionaire and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

In exchange for the gifts, police say, Netanyahu tried to advance a tax break that would have benefited Milchan, though he was blocked by the Finance Ministry.

“According to suspicions, the Prime Minister worked to advance the extension of the tax waiver for returning citizens over 10 years, a benefit that has a considerable economic value for Mr. Milchan,” the police statement said.

MK Yair Lapid, one of Netanyahu’s chief rivals who served as finance minister during this period and was called to testify during the investigation, called on Netanyahu to step down. “Even if the law does not require the Prime Minister to resign, someone who has such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not deny, cannot continue to serve as Prime Minister with responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel’s citizens,” Lapid said.

Police say they have enough evidence to indict Milchan on charges of bribery.

Milchan fired back at police, insisting he and Netanyahu have been friends since long before the period under investigation.

“The recommendation disregards indisputable basic facts including — the ties between Mr. Milchan and Mr. Netanyahu started in the early years of 2000, when Netanyahu had no government role. This connection was characterized by friendship between the two and their families. In this framework, gifts were given from time to time by Mr. Milchan to the Netanyahu family with no business interest,” said Milchan’s lawyer.

In Case 2000, police say Netanyahu discussed “bartering” with Arnon “Noni” Mozes, the owner of one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, which is regularly critical of the Prime Minister.

In exchange for more favorable coverage, Netanyahu promised to hamper the circulation of a rival newspaper, in recordings obtained by police.

“In his framework, what was discussed was the assistance of Mr. Mozes to Netanyahu in establishing his stature as Prime Minister through positive coverage in Yedioth Ahronoth that, in return for the Prime Minister assisting Mr. Mozes in advancing economic interests of Yedioth Ahronoth by an initiative to block the strengthening of Israel Hayom,” the police statement said.

Both Netanyahu and Mozes have said these were not serious discussions; rather, they each claim they were trying to expose the other’s lack of trustworthiness. Police say there is enough evidence to indict Mozes on charges of offering bribes.

In a statement to Israeli media, the lawyer for Mozes said, “The cases against him will be closed.”

Netanyahu has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, insisting that investigators will find he did nothing wrong.

Attorney general

Police will now pass the evidence to the attorney general, who will make a decision on whether or not to indict the Prime Minister. That decision is not expected imminently.

By Israeli law, he is only required to step down if he is convicted and that conviction is upheld through the appeals process to the High Court, a process that could take years.

However, he could face public and political pressure to step down much earlier.

His coalition partners, so far, have backed him, saying they will not take down the government over a police conclusion.

Earlier this week, Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, said, “I wish from the depths of my heart that the PM will come out clean and will continue leading the State of Israel. An indictment sheet seems far away, and certainly one does not go for elections over [police] recommendations.”

Echoing his position, Finance Minister and head of the center-right Kulanu party Moshe Kahlon said, “Let the [police] recommendations be published. We will not avoid a decision, but I’m telling you right now, by law, the law says until the stage of the attorney general, there is no need to deal with it at all.”

Both parties have enough seats in Netanyahu’s 66-seat coalition to take down the government and force new elections.

In an effort to deflect blame, Netanyahu has lashed out, attacking the police, the media, the opposition and the left in rallies and on social media. He has often called the investigations against him “fake news,” echoing the language of President Donald Trump.

Last week, Israeli Police Chief Roni Alsheich, in an interview with Israel’s Keshet news channel, said “powerful elements” were “sniffing” around investigators working on the Netanyahu cases.

Firing back, Netanyahu said he was “shocked by the insinuations” that he had sent private detectives to tail police, arguing that it casts doubt over the impartiality of the investigations.

In a strike against the police chief after the interview, Likud MK Yoav Kisch, a hardline supporter of Netanyahu from within the Prime Minister’s party, summoned Alsheich to a meeting of the Interior Committee at the Knesset for Wednesday morning.

CNN’s Oren Liebermann reported from Jerusalem. James Masters wrote from London. Amir Tal in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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Benjamin Netanyahu defends ‘Iran lied’ presentation – CNN

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Benjamin Netanyahu defends ‘Iran lied’ presentation – CNN

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July 15, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu – Forbes

Stats

Age68

ResidenceJerusalem, Israel

CitizenshipIsrael

Marital StatusMarried

Children3

EducationBachelor of Arts/Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Master of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Netanyahu, served for five years in Sayeret Matkal, an elite special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces and was injured during an operation.

Netanyahu, nicknamed Bibi (short for his first name), has a Bachelor in architecture and a Masters in Business, both from MIT.

I think that a strong Israel is the only Israel that will bring the Arabs to the peace table.

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Benjamin Netanyahu – Forbes

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July 11, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu | Topic Article – Business Standard …

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Benjamin Netanyahu | Topic Article – Business Standard …

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June 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Whats Next for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

JERUSALEM For the third time this year, the Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on bribery, fraud and other charges. But Mr. Netanyahu, who denies all wrongdoing, is not giving up easily, and it is far from clear what will happen next. His fate now hangs on a combination of factors, including a decision by the attorney general on whether to indict him, possible court rulings on the legality of his remaining in office and the wild card, the will of the voters. So while the accusations could well end Mr. Netanyahus career after four terms in office, there are just enough variables that could allow the wiliest of Israels political survivors to hang on to power. Here are some of the options for how his conundrum could play out. The next legal step is for the state prosecutors and the attorney general to decide whether to press charges in any of the three cases brought by the police. As prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu has the right to argue his case in a hearing before the authorities make any final decision to prosecute him in court. He could end up making history not only as one of Israels longest serving prime ministers but as the first sitting one to be charged with a crime. But political analysts say he is likely to draw the wild card and seek new elections first. [How Mr. Netanyahus obsession with his image could bring his downfall.] Israel is already in an election year, with national balloting due by November 2019, but elections may be called earlier. Analysts say the best time for Mr. Netanyahu to stand in an election would be after he has been summoned to a hearing and before the attorney general makes his final decision. Assuming he wins the vote, he would then be fighting his case from a newly mandated position of strength. For now, none of his declared opponents come close to Mr. Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Party in the polls. An election that takes place earlier rather than later would allow Mr. Netanyahu to run practically unopposed, some experts say, before any new potential rivals could get organized and gain ground. In theory, decisions about whether to indict Mr. Netanyahu or not rest purely on the law and the evidence. In reality, analysts say, politics could play a role. The attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, is in a delicate position. A former military advocate general, he was selected by Mr. Netanyahu for the countrys top legal job. Once considered a Netanyahu loyalist, Mr. Mandelblit approved and has overseen the police investigations so far. He has already brought fraud charges against Mr. Netanyahus wife, Sara, accusing her of misusing about $100,000 in public funds in her management of the prime ministers official residence. Mrs. Netanyahu is currently on trial. But a sitting prime minister has never been indicted. There is pressure on Mr. Mandelblit to move swiftly. But there is also pressure to make sure he has an airtight case before handing down an indictment that could destroy a popularly elected prime minister. The person in the most difficult position of all, other than Netanyahu, is Mandelblit, said Prof. Shmuel Sandler, an expert on Israeli electoral politics at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. If the election campaign has begun, however, it could make it easier for Mr. Mandelblit to press charges, Professor Sandler said. Because the voters would be choosing a new government anyway, there would be less risk that Mr. Mandelblit would be accused of bringing down a popular one. On the flip side, if he weighs in with an indictment during the campaign, he could be seen as trying to sway the election. The alternative, however, would be keeping voters in the dark about whether a leading candidate is on the brink of being charged with a crime. Critics have accused Mr. Mandelblit of foot-dragging in the cases concerning the prime minister. Mr. Mandelblit says he will make a decision as soon as possible. If Mr. Netanyahu is indicted, legally he can continue to serve as prime minister while he is a defendant. An accused prime minister is not obligated to resign until a final conviction in court. But if he were charged, critics would probably petition the Supreme Court to force him to step down. The Supreme Court has ruled that a cabinet minister charged with a crime must step down. The judges would have to decide whether the same standard applied to the prime minister. If, at that point, Mr. Netanyahu had been re-elected, he could make a political argument to bolster his legal one. That argument, says Amit Segal, the political analyst of the Israeli television News Channel, would be: More than a million voters knew exactly what the charges were against me and yet they elected me again. Then, the Supreme Court would be faced with the prospect of reversing the will of the voters. Thats why Netanyahu desperately needs to be re-elected, Mr. Segal said in an interview on Monday. For him, the next election is not only a political challenge. Thats the least of his worries. First and foremost, its a legal one. There has also been speculation in the Israeli news media over the possibility of Mr. Netanyahu reaching a deal, if he is prosecuted, in which he would step down or not run again in return for avoiding jail time. Mr. Netanyahu presides over a fragile coalition that holds a one-vote majority in the 120-seat Parliament. If he is indicted while in office, his coalition partners will have to decide whether to stick with him or to topple his narrow, right-wing and religious government. Since the parties in the government mostly represent similar right-wing constituencies, they are wary of prematurely collapsing a government that is advancing their agenda. Mr. Netanyahu has reminded them of the trauma of 1992 when right-wing parties brought down a right-wing government only to watch the left take power and agree to what the right saw as the disastrous Oslo peace process with the Palestinians. Some of the coalition parties are in electoral peril themselves and may not want to risk an election any sooner than they have to. Aryeh Deri, the interior minister and leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, one of Likuds four remaining coalition partners, is facing possible charges, including fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and money laundering. Contentious legislation, such as a new law regulating ultra-Orthodox enlistment into the military, which must be approved by Jan. 15, could also rock the coalition and bring on new elections. Short of that, few believe any parties are about to bolt. The entire political establishment has become so accustomed to Netanyahu being in power that nobody can believe in change, Sima Kadmon, a political columnist, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on Monday. As if Netanyahu were the sun and the moon, and all the others were only stars, and everything depended on ones location in this galaxy, she wrote. But this change will happen.

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December 8, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israeli police recommend indicting Benjamin Netanyahu

JERUSALEM Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges related to a corruption case involving Israels telecom giant, prompting immediate calls for his resignation. Police say their investigation has established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeqs subsidiary news website, Walla. Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases. One involves accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolves around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage. The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media. The police recommendations regarding me and my wife dont surprise anyone, Netanyahu said in a statement. These recommendations were decided upon and leaked even before the investigation began. The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused. Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence. Netanyahu held the governments communications portfolio until last year and oversaw regulation in the field. Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu. Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a bribe-based relationship. From 2012 to 2017 the prime minister and his associates blatantly intervened on a near-daily basis in the Walla news site, using the connections with Elovitch to influence appointments there and to promote flattering articles and pictures while quelling critical stories of the prime minister and his family, police said. Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family. The most serious bribery case yet leaves no room for doubt: a prime minister who is accused of the most serious offense for a public servant in the Israeli rule book cannot keep serving one minute longer, said Tamar Zandberg, head of the dovish opposition Meretz party. The prime minister has no moral mandate to keep his seat and must resign today. Israel must go to elections. Other opposition figures, including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, quickly joined in the call for Netanyahu to resign. Netanyahus colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job. The appointment of Alsheikhs potential successor is being held up after a government-appointed committee rejected his candidacy. The other coalition partners have previously deferred bolting, saying they would await a formal decision by Israels attorney general to press charges. But the latest development further threatens the wobbly government, already weakened by the recent departure of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his party. Netanyahus coalition currently enjoys only the slimmest of parliamentary majorities. Elections are currently scheduled for November 2019. Police are also recommending that charges be brought against Netanyahus wife, Sara, who has been at the center of much of the corruption allegations surrounding the longtime Israeli leader. Reports have surfaced of Sara Netanyahu relaying requests to Bezeq officials. She has already been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending roughly $100,000 on private meals at the prime ministers official residence, even as there was a full-time chef on staff. Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of extravagant living and abusive behavior. In 2016, a court ruled she abused an employee and awarded the man $42,000 in damages. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied, and of excessive spending and charging the state for her private, expensive tastes.

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December 8, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted

Share This Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about The Israeli Prime Minister is facing allegation of corruption and bribery stemming from a media scandal. A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Associated Press Published 4:03 a.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018 | Updated 1:28 p.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018 The prime minister’s wife was charged with fraud and breach of trust in a separate case earlier this year.Video provided by Newsy Newslook Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently spoke in Washington, D.C. where he said that Iran is becoming more of a threat to the world.(Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli police are recommending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant. Police say Sunday they have established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeq’s news website, Walla. Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second over trading positive media coverage for advantageous legislation for a newspaper. The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/12/02/israli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-indicted/2182645002/

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December 8, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Iran of having secret nuclear …

Netanyahu Show and Tell at UN General Assembly The UN General Assembly got a little show and tell from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his address to the UN and used his time to point the finger directly at Iran, as he has in previous speeches in the same forum. Netanyahu held up maps and photos of what he claimed was a building that housed Iran’s “secret weapons programme” “Today, I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran. A secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons programme.” He then proceeded to repeat the claim on his Twitter account, embedding a picture of the building from the air. It’s not a far cry from what he’s done before at the UNGA. In 2012, he showed up with a cartoon bomb drawing in hand and proceeded to illustrate it with a red line to point out the moment at which the international community should act to curb Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran has refuted the claims made yesterday. “The world will only laugh loudly at this type of false, meaningless and unncessary speech,” said Iran foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi A US intelligence official speaking to Reuters called the claims, somewhat misleading. First, we have known about this facility for some time, and its full of file cabinets and paper, not aluminum tubes for centrifuges, and second, so far as anyone knows, there is nothing in it that would allow Iran to break out of the JCPOA any faster than it otherwise could. Iran has been a point of contention from the first day of this session of the General Assembly. US President Trump and Iran’s President Rouhani used their speeches to attack one another, with Trump asking other countries to join him in isolating the Islamic Republic’s leadership. Under Trump, the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May, leaving EU countries scrambling to make it work without them. Further US sanctions on Iran, this time on oil, come into effect on November 4. Irans leaders sow chaos, death and destruction, he said. They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.” Rouhani hit back four hours later by likening new US sanctions to “economic terrorism.” EU representatives have spent some of their time in New York this week meeting with Iranian officials in a continued effort to salvage the nuclear deal, but it’s unclear how successful any attempts will be without the political and economic clout of the US. Today is the last day of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. US President Donald’s Trump’s speech on Monday was undoubtedly the most anticipated moment the American President followed up his explosive speech last year with an equal focus on his “America First” agenda. It’s still jarring to hear his talk of sovereignty in the spiritual house of cooperation and diplomacy, but this year there was a sense of preparation as his policies are well known. We will never surrender Americas sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy, Trump said to a silent crowd. America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.” He also touted his own achievements, drawing laughter after his claim that his administration had more accomplishments than any other thus far. President Macron of France then did his best to be Trump’s foil. Macron may have been out auditioning for the leader of a multilateral free world as his speech highlighted the values of cooperation and the pitfalls of nationalism. “Don’t accept the erosion of multilateralism,” Macron said. “Dont accept our history unravelling. Our children are watching. Let us address the crisis, let us work together to combat these inequalities on a human level, mindful of our history.” “Nationalism always leads to defeat,” he continued. “If courage is lacking in the defense of fundamental principles, international order becomes fragile and this can lead as we have already seen twice, to global war. We saw that with our very own eyes.”

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October 1, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Meet Trumps Envoy-at-Large: Benjamin Netanyahu

LONDON A couple of years ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was shunned by the White House. During a conversation believed to be off-record with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the 2011 G-20 summit, President Barack Obama didn’t disagree when Sarkozy called Netanyahu a “liar.” And on the occasions Obama and Netanyahu did meet, the strained body language paid testimony to the mutual hostility. The two clashed over the peace process, Netanyahus Jewish settlements policy in the West Bank and the Arab spring. With Donald Trump in the White House that has changed a shift dramatically symbolized in December when the U.S. President announced Washingtons recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv. The Israeli leader is now feted by a Trump administration which sees him not only as an ideological ally but increasingly, say diplomats and analysts, as an envoy-at-large, blazing a trail for President Trump to Moscow and marshaling his admirers among the populist nationalist leaders of Central Europe as well as orchestrating with the U.S. administration other diplomatic initiatives. According to Arab and U.S. officials, the Israeli leader has been a key advocate for establishing a new security and political partnership between the U.S. and the six Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states as well as Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Irans expansion in the region. Behind the scenes, Netanyahu has been building strong security ties with Egypt and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf, all of whom see Iran and Islamists as threats that outweigh their historical commitments to the Palestinians. Nicknamed the Arab NATO, the Trump administration has been quietly pushing ahead with the idea, officially known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA). On Friday, the Reuters news agency reported the Trump administration hopes MESA will be discussed at a summit provisionally scheduled to take place in Washington in October. Netanyahu has been a sherpa [emissary) helping to guide this effort, a Gulf diplomat told VOA. The Israeli leader wields arguably more clout in Washington than any of his predecessors, with some Israeli diplomats bragging sometimes it is hard to know whos working for whom. Earlier this month, an Israeli public broadcaster aired a video clip of Netanyahu telling senior members of his Likud party that he had helped to defeat European efforts to dissuade Trump from withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and that he was responsible for finally persuading Trump to abandon it. We convinced the U.S. president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement, Netanyahu said. And the Israeli leader has been tireless in selling to other American allies Trumps withdrawal from the deal, signed by Barack Obama in 2015 in which Tehran agreed to nuclear curbs in return for sanctions relief. In June, Netanyahu went on a whirlwind four-day tour of European capitals, meeting with national leaders in Berlin, Paris and London, part of a diplomatic campaign of attrition, his aides said, to get the Europeans to block Irans expansion of its military and political influence in the region. He got more of a hearing than he would have in the past, say his aides. As his trip wound down, they claimed he had made progress in persuading European leaders that they need to do more to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East and contain Tehrans military ambitions in the region. From being isolated on the World stage during the Obama era, Netanyahu, thanks to his ties to the Trump White House, has become a mover and shaker, helping to shape an arc of strongmen from Washington to Moscow, where he has nurtured close ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whom he talks with on average twice a week, say Israeli diplomats. Both President Trump and his Russian counterpart singled out Netanyahu for praise during their joint press conference earlier this month in Helsinki. We have worked with Israel for decades – there has never been a country closer to us, and Putin is also very close to Israel, we have both talked to Benjamin Netanyahu, and both countries want to help Israel defend itself, Trump said. The U.S. President said later in an interview with Fox News that he was under the impression Putin is a fan of Bibi, referring to the Israeli leader’s nickname. Netanyahu’s enhanced standing on the World stage stands in contrast, though, to his increasingly beleaguered position politically in Israel, where he is engulfed in a series of corruption scandals and facing mounting public dissatisfaction over the rising cost of living and disapproval of what Israeli academic Jonathan Rynhold has argued, is his pandering to the political parties which represent the Ultra-Orthodox, known in Israel as the Haredim. Nonetheless, Rynhold noted in an expert comment for Britains Chatham House: Polls show that Netanyahu continues to be viewed as the most suitable person to serve as prime minister, even if a majority of Israelis are dissatisfied with his performance. Surveys over the last several months have suggested that while a majority of Israelis see Netanyahu as corrupt, they would still vote for him. While his party has slid somewhat in the last few weeks, polls indicate it continues in lead with some analysts saying the drop had more to do with his flip-flopping on social issues than his policy on Trump and the Palestinians.

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August 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israeli police find ‘sufficient evidence’ to indict …

According to a police statement published late Tuesday, authorities found evidence of “accepting bribes, fraud, and breach of trust.” In a televised statement, Netanyahu said that the allegations against him would be dismissed, repeating what has become his catchphrase, “There will be nothing because there is nothing.” In a statement given moments before police issued their official findings, he said: “I think about the good of the country not for personal reasons of the press, but only for the country, and nothing will stop me from doing this, not even the attacks against me, and believe me they’re never ending. “And, therefore, today isn’t different from any other days which I’ve been through in past 20 years.” When asked whether the US had any reaction to the police statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “The only thing I have to say about that is that the United States has a very strong relationship, not only with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but also the Israeli government. We’re certainly aware of it, but we consider it to be an internal Israeli matter.” In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas totaling 1 million shekels (approximately $280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewelry and more, from 2007 through 2016. The case has focused primarily on Netanyahu’s relationship with Israeli billionaire and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. In exchange for the gifts, police say, Netanyahu tried to advance a tax break that would have benefited Milchan, though he was blocked by the Finance Ministry. “According to suspicions, the Prime Minister worked to advance the extension of the tax waiver for returning citizens over 10 years, a benefit that has a considerable economic value for Mr. Milchan,” the police statement said. MK Yair Lapid, one of Netanyahu’s chief rivals who served as finance minister during this period and was called to testify during the investigation, called on Netanyahu to step down. “Even if the law does not require the Prime Minister to resign, someone who has such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not deny, cannot continue to serve as Prime Minister with responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel’s citizens,” Lapid said. Police say they have enough evidence to indict Milchan on charges of bribery. Milchan fired back at police, insisting he and Netanyahu have been friends since long before the period under investigation. “The recommendation disregards indisputable basic facts including — the ties between Mr. Milchan and Mr. Netanyahu started in the early years of 2000, when Netanyahu had no government role. This connection was characterized by friendship between the two and their families. In this framework, gifts were given from time to time by Mr. Milchan to the Netanyahu family with no business interest,” said Milchan’s lawyer. In Case 2000, police say Netanyahu discussed “bartering” with Arnon “Noni” Mozes, the owner of one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, which is regularly critical of the Prime Minister. In exchange for more favorable coverage, Netanyahu promised to hamper the circulation of a rival newspaper, in recordings obtained by police. “In his framework, what was discussed was the assistance of Mr. Mozes to Netanyahu in establishing his stature as Prime Minister through positive coverage in Yedioth Ahronoth that, in return for the Prime Minister assisting Mr. Mozes in advancing economic interests of Yedioth Ahronoth by an initiative to block the strengthening of Israel Hayom,” the police statement said. Both Netanyahu and Mozes have said these were not serious discussions; rather, they each claim they were trying to expose the other’s lack of trustworthiness. Police say there is enough evidence to indict Mozes on charges of offering bribes. In a statement to Israeli media, the lawyer for Mozes said, “The cases against him will be closed.” Netanyahu has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, insisting that investigators will find he did nothing wrong. Attorney general Police will now pass the evidence to the attorney general, who will make a decision on whether or not to indict the Prime Minister. That decision is not expected imminently. By Israeli law, he is only required to step down if he is convicted and that conviction is upheld through the appeals process to the High Court, a process that could take years. However, he could face public and political pressure to step down much earlier. His coalition partners, so far, have backed him, saying they will not take down the government over a police conclusion. Earlier this week, Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, said, “I wish from the depths of my heart that the PM will come out clean and will continue leading the State of Israel. An indictment sheet seems far away, and certainly one does not go for elections over [police] recommendations.” Echoing his position, Finance Minister and head of the center-right Kulanu party Moshe Kahlon said, “Let the [police] recommendations be published. We will not avoid a decision, but I’m telling you right now, by law, the law says until the stage of the attorney general, there is no need to deal with it at all.” Both parties have enough seats in Netanyahu’s 66-seat coalition to take down the government and force new elections. In an effort to deflect blame, Netanyahu has lashed out, attacking the police, the media, the opposition and the left in rallies and on social media. He has often called the investigations against him “fake news,” echoing the language of President Donald Trump. Last week, Israeli Police Chief Roni Alsheich, in an interview with Israel’s Keshet news channel, said “powerful elements” were “sniffing” around investigators working on the Netanyahu cases. Firing back, Netanyahu said he was “shocked by the insinuations” that he had sent private detectives to tail police, arguing that it casts doubt over the impartiality of the investigations. In a strike against the police chief after the interview, Likud MK Yoav Kisch, a hardline supporter of Netanyahu from within the Prime Minister’s party, summoned Alsheich to a meeting of the Interior Committee at the Knesset for Wednesday morning. CNN’s Oren Liebermann reported from Jerusalem. James Masters wrote from London. Amir Tal in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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July 27, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu defends ‘Iran lied’ presentation – CNN

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July 15, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu – Forbes

Stats Age68 ResidenceJerusalem, Israel CitizenshipIsrael Marital StatusMarried Children3 EducationBachelor of Arts/Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Master of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Netanyahu, served for five years in Sayeret Matkal, an elite special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces and was injured during an operation. Netanyahu, nicknamed Bibi (short for his first name), has a Bachelor in architecture and a Masters in Business, both from MIT. I think that a strong Israel is the only Israel that will bring the Arabs to the peace table.

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July 11, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu | Topic Article – Business Standard …

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June 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed


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