While 'Not the Worst' of His Crimes, Israeli Police Call for Indicting Netanyahu on Corruption Charges

While it has nothing to do with violating international law and the human rights of Palestinians, Israeli police on Tuesday recommended that the state indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery and corruption.

The recommendation comes as part of ongoing probes into allegations that Netanyahu “improperly accepted expensive gifts from different businessmen” and “negotiated with publisher Arnon ‘Noni’ Mozes for favorable coverage of himself in Yediot Aharonot in exchange for support of a bill to weaken Israel Hayom, the largest circulation Hebrew-language paper and Yediot‘s biggest competitor,” as the Jerusalem Post explained.

Police also recommended that the state indict Mozes as well as billionaire Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer and former Israeli intelligence operative who allegedly gave Netanyahu gifts with the intention of bribing him. Haaretz published a graphic outlining the investigations. Case 1000 refers to claims that the prime minister accepted “lavish gifts,” and Case 2000 refers to the purported deal with the newspaper publisher.

While Netanyahu has vehemently denied the allegations and publicly attacked the credibility of Israeli Police Commissioner Inspector General Roni Alsheich, observers have praised the indictment recommendations while also noting that these alleged crimes are not the worst of which he’s been accused—pointing to Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as its treatment of Palestinians, which have elicited demands that the prime minister be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

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Others noted Netanyahu’s relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump—who, last year, provoked international outrage by recognizing Jerusalem and the capital of Israel—and drew comparisons the U.S. probe, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election and obstructed justice.

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