Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been declared a suspect in two separate investigations involving allegations of “bribery, fraud and breach of trust,” according to the Associated Press. Netanyahu’s former chief of staff has come out in support of the allegations and has agreed to testify against him.
In the first case, called “File 1000,” the allegations assert that Netanyahu improperly accepted lavish gifts from wealthy supporters, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
In the second case, called “File 2000,” the allegations assert that Netanyahu attempted to strike a deal with publisher Arnon Mozez of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group to disrupt Yediot’s main competitor so that Yediot would cover Netanyahu more favorably, explained the Associated Press.
“We completely reject the unfounded claims against the prime minister,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement Thursday night, asserting that the allegations levied against him are part of a broader campaign to “replace the government,” and that the effort lobbied against him is nothing more than a “witch hunt.”
“There will be nothing, because there was nothing,” the statement said further.
Former Chief of Staff Ari Harow reported the allegations, signing a deal with authorities in which he agreed to testify. The Israeli police said that Harow will likely receive six months of community service and a fine of $198,000 on separate breach of trust charges, rather than prison, in exchange for his testimony, reports The Guardian.
Some of the lavish gifts included in the allegations that Netanyahu accepted include champagne and expensive cigars from Arnon Milchan. According to the Associated Press, Netanyahu has been known to enjoy a fine cigar and good cognac from time to time as a socialite.
What do you think? This news may be troubling, but read about what Vice President Pence said about the United States stance on Israel – it’s encouraging!