Ratan Tata denies involvement in Netanyahu corruption cases

Randolph Lopez
February 17, 2018

A prime minister facing such police recommendations or who has been formally charged is not obliged to resign.

Netanyahu has been questioned in the probes multiple times, which have also ensnared his closest confidants and made for lurid headlines detailing alleged gifts of pink champagne and cigars from billionaires Milchan and Packer. "All of those attempts resulted in nothing, and this time again they will come to nothing", he said.

One of the two cases involves the receipt of gifts from businessmen, and the other is related to conversations Mr Netanyahu is alleged to have held with an Israeli newspaper publisher about limiting competition in the news sector in exchange for more positive coverage.

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

That same night, a resolute and unfailingly articulate Netanyahu addressed the nation on television, vowing to clear his name and continue to lead Israel as it faced the spectre of imminent war against Iran and its proxies on its northern borders.

The attorney general must now decide how to move forward, a process that could take months.

This week we have learned that there is solid evidence that Bibi has engaged in bribery, fraud, and breach of the public trust.

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Two months after Trump upended decades of United States policy by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - endearing himself to Netanyahu while alienating the Palestinian leadership - the USA president told a right-wing Israeli newspaper he was concerned about the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and questioned Israel's willingness to make peace.

The first case against Netanyahu, known as Case 1,000, involves the receipt of substantial gifts and benefits totalling almost $300,000 from several wealthy businesspeople, including Netanyahu's well-known billionaire benefactor and Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan, Ronald Lauder, an American businessman whose family founded the cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, and the Australian billionaire James Packer. Lives and careers have been destroyed as allegations regarding collusion have tainted several high-level former aides to the prime minister in the extreme sport that passes for Israeli politics.

But key members of Netanyahu's Likud Party rallied behind him.

Netanyahu, who has been prime minister for nine straight years, and his family have become embroiled in a series of scandals in recent months. No one, not I and no one else, plans to go to elections.

It is this unprecedented creation of the cult of political personality that has allowed Netanyahu to cultivate a myth of being "Mr. Security" despite being more reticent to use force than most previous prime ministers in Israeli history, a champion of settlements despite building them at a slower rate than his predecessors, and an effective sideliner of his political rivals.

Israel's centre-left opposition alliance, the Zionist Union, called on Netanyahu to resign. And in an interview Sunday, Trump said both Israel and Palestine were hindering efforts to broker a peace deal.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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