Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Israeli Court Begins Corruption Trial Against Netanyahu

    Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu became the first serving premier in the country’s history to stand trial on corruption charges when he appeared before the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday.

  • Israel’s Top Court Allows Netanyahu to Form Government

    The Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected two petitions brought against the country’s embattled prime minister, who sits at the centre of an ongoing corruption scandal.

  • Israel’s Knesset Suspends COVID-19 Cellphone Surveillance

    An oversight committee of the Israeli parliament suspended on Wednesday a decision that was allowing police to use cellphone data to track the movement of coronavirus infected people as part of the country’s efforts to enforce the lockdown.

  • Graft-indicted Netanyahu Forms Israeli Government with Rival

    Long-time rivals Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz signed on Monday a power-sharing deal that allows them to form a new emergency government, ending Israel’s year-long political deadlock but also giving Netanyahu, indicted in three corruption cases, the right to veto the appointment of a new state prosecutor and attorney general.

  • Israel: Coronavirus Delays Netanyahu Trial

    The coronavirus pandemic has given Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu an unexpected boon, delaying his corruption trial by two months. 

  • Netanyahu Pulls Back Immunity Bid, Indictment Filed

    Israel's attorney general has filed Tuesday an indictment against the country’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, only hours after he announced that he was withdrawing his immunity bid from a pending indictment in three graft cases against him, theBBC reported.

  • Israel: Netanyahu will Seek Immunity from Knesset

    Israeli Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu announced on Wednesday he will seek immunity from corruption charges, effectively delaying his trials until after the elections scheduled for March, when he expects to get a majority coalition to protect him from prosecution.

  • Embattled Israeli PM Vows to Fight Graft Charges

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to stay in power as Israel’s leader, in the wake of corruption charges and his political rival’s failed attempt to form a coalition government.

  • Israel: Investigators Probe Likud Officials

    Israeli police launched last week an investigation into senior campaign officials in the ruling Likud party for allegedly harassing a state witness in a corruption case against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Times of Israelreported Sunday.

  • Israel PM’s Pre-Trial Hearing over Corruption Charges Starts

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a pre-trial hearing on a corruption indictment Wednesday, as his lawyers claimed the battled leader wouldn’t accept a plea deal.

  • Upheavals in Israel’s Anti-Corruption Body Raise Red Flags

    A dispute within Israel’s State Comptroller Office over how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be able to finance his defense in three ongoing criminal corruption cases has led to resignations and growing concern about the direction of the country’ anti-corruption “watchdog”.  

  • Israel: Sara Netanyahu Sentenced for Misusing Public Funds

    Israeli courts have convicted the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of misusing public funds to pay for US$100,000 worth of private meals.

  • Israel: "Immunity" Bill Might Clear Netanyahu’s Graft Charges

    The Israeli Knesset put a new immunity bill on it’s legislative docket on Monday, a change that could clear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his looming bribery and fraud charges if passed.

  • Israel’s Netanyahu To be Indicted for Corruption

    Israeli authorities announced on Thursday they will indict Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges but Netanyahu labeled the move an opposition scheme intended to force him out of the running in the upcoming election.

  • Israel: Police Recommending Bribery, Fraud Charges Against PM Netanyahu, Wife

    Israeli authorities said Sunday there is enough evidence to charge Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and his wife, Sara Netanyahu, with bribery and fraud, Reuters reported.

  • Israeli Police: Minister Should be Charged with Corruption

    Israeli police on Tuesday recommended charges be brought against the interior minister, who has been under investigation since 2016 over suspicions of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, tax offences, and money laundering.

  • Israel’s First Lady Charged with Fraud for Ordering Meals

    State prosecutors said on Thursday that Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was charged with fraud for spending US$100,000 on outside caterers in the couple’s official residence, Reuters reported.

  • Israel: Netanyahu’s Confidant Testifies in Graft Case

    A confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu is testifying about alleged government favors to a telecom tycoon in return for favorable media coverage of the Israeli Prime Minister, Hareetz reported Wednesday.

  • Israeli Police Call For Netanyahu to be Indicted

    Israeli police recommended on Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for allegedly accepting bribes and breaching public trust, leaving the Attorney General to decide whether to ultimately press charges on the embattled politician. 

    Benjamin Netanyahu faces a fight for his political survival (Photo: Russian Presidency)

    The news that Netanyahu’s acceptance of almost US$300,000 in gifts from two billionaires amounted to bribery, according to the police’s announcement, reverberated throughout Israel.

    Police have been investigating Netanyahu in regards to two cases for more than a year: one where he allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for lending his influence while another concerns suspicions he conspired with the publisher of a newspaper.

    A police statement said Netanyahu accepted gifts worth 750,000 shekels (now US $214,000) from Hollywood honcho Arnon Milchan, and 250,000 shekels (now $71,000) from an Australian billionaire, James Packer. The gifts from Milchan reportedly included expensive cigars, champagne and jewelry.

    Police said that in exchange for the presents, Netanyahu had operated on Milchan’s behalf on U.S. visa matters, oversaw a tax break and introduced him to an Indian businessman. Police confirmed there is also sufficient evidence to charge both Milchan and Mozes with bribery.

    In the other probe, Netanyahu allegedly asked the publisher of a Israeli newspaper, Yadiot Ahronot daily, for favourable coverage in exchange for weakening a free competitor newspaper.

    Netanyahu’s position appears to be secure for now, with Israeli politicians largely sticking to partisan lines. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the nationalistic Jewish Home party that is part of the ruling coalition, however, reserved some criticism for the veteran politician. He said Netanyahu could keep serving but was “not living up to the standard” expected of his office.

    Netanyahu staunchly vowed to carry on. He claimed that the year-long graft inquiry was politically motivated. “After reading the recommendations report i can say it is a biased extreme document,” he said in a speech on Wednesday. “[It’s] full of holes like swiss cheese and it doesn’t hold water.”

    Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister and a bitter rival of Netanyahu, beckoned him to suspend himself and for the coalition government to appoint a replacement as soon as possible. “The depth of corruption is horrifying,” Barak said, according to The Guardian. “This does not look like nothing. This looks like bribery.”

    It’s not the first time Netanyahu has been embroiled in scandal. The Associated Press listed influence peddling and excessive travel and household expenses among a litany of examples where he may have fallen short of the high expectations demanded of those in his position.

    Earlier this year a recording of a conversation between Netanyahu’s eldest son, Yair, and his friends from a drunken night out in Tel Aviv where a taxpayer funded government vehicle ferried them between strip clubs.

    Yair was berating the son of Israeli tycoon, Kobi Maimon, for insisting he repays money borrowed in a strip club, because “My dad arranged $20 billion for your dad,” according to The Washington Post.

    In 2016 it was revealed that Netanyahu spent more than $600,000 of public funds on a six-day trip to New York that included $1,600 on a personal hairdresser.

    Three years prior, he was found to have spent $127,000 in public funds on a sleeping cabin on a flight to London. Meanwhile, his office reportedly accumulated a $2,700 bill, at a Jerusalem ice cream parlour last year.

  • Israelis Protest Against Corruption

    Thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend for the eighth consecutive week to protest corruption and to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to resign as prime minister, the Times of Israel reported.

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