Israel: Protesters call for ‘crime minister’ Netanyahu to step down

Middle East Monitor | – –

Israeli demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv today to urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign after police recommended he be charged with bribery in two corruption cases.

Police said on Tuesday enough evidence had been found for Netanyahu to be charged, saddling the four-term premier with one of the biggest challenges to his long dominance of Israeli politics.

Netanyahu, 68, denies wrongdoing in both cases and has said nothing will come of the police investigations. It is now up to the attorney general to determine whether to press charges against him.

Around 1,000-2,000 protesters rallied in a Tel Aviv square, some with signs saying “crooks go home” and “crime minister”.

“We think the prime minister should immediately disqualify himself and resign,” said Shlomit Bar, 63, a retired music teacher. “He cannot be any longer the prime minister of Israel.”

Netanyahu: What happens next?

“From a moral standpoint, this is a disgrace to the state of Israel, where a prime minister is suspected of such serious crimes,” said Oren Simon, one of the protesters. “He should go home. Enough.”

A poll published on Wednesday showed almost half of Israel’s electorate believe the police rather than Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is currently entangled in four political scandals: Case 1000 which involves allegations that the PM and his wife accepted illegal gifts from businessmen; Case 2000 which accuses Netanyahu of attempting to buy favourable newspaper coverage; Case 3000, also known as the “submarine scandal”; and Case 4000, in which a close associate of Netanyahu is suspected of providing confidential information to Israel’s largest telecoms company.

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The prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, has also been accused of using public funds for private expenditure in the prime minister’s households. Only 20 per cent of respondents to the recent survey believe she is innocent.

It could be months before the attorney general makes a decision on whether to charge him.

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Via Middle East Monitor


Bonus video added by Informed Comment:

File from two months ago:

Guardian News: “Protesters chant ‘shame’ during anti-corruption rally in Tel Aviv”

4 Responses

  1. It would be ironic if Netanyahu were toppled for committing crimes more minor than the ones Trump has in only a year.

    But then, it would be even more ironic, though not surprising, if Israel’s increasingly racist and paranoid polity replaced Netanyahu with someone known to be worse.

  2. If the State of Israel can send Bennie to trial and he is found guilty, who knows there might be hope for peace in the Middle East yet. Of course it will leave Trump lonely, but he too may wind up in jail, if the Americans get lucky.

    How the world found peace and got on with life: found the leaders guilty of financial crimes and they wound up in jail. Nice story. Good ending. They look like a couple of thugs to me and nothing has changed my mind about that. They both are taking their country into undemocratic directions,.

  3. Julian Koss

    It saddens me to watch the the state of Israel change from a nation devoted to a democratic way for all, into a nation led by religious zealots. While crimes against the state (as is bribery) are enough to remove even a prime minister, the Israel I’ve loved since 1948 has disappeared. Both “parties” to a peace solution have much blame on their heads, but Israel’s strength has always been compassion. That has disappeared. How much better would the world think of Israel if “she” had taken that ” extra step”, gone that “extra mile”,

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