“It is a duty and a great honor to be able to vote. I hope we will end this day with a big smile”, declared Benyamin Netanyahou on Tuesday, November 1, who hopes to be able to form a government at the end of the fifth legislative elections organized in less than four years in Israel. A way for the former prime minister, prosecuted in several corruption cases, to avoid prison.
The first charges against him date from 2016. A first case concerns cigars, bottles of champagne and jewelry, the value of which would amount to €230,000, offered to the Prime Minister between 2007 and 2016 by wealthy personalities such as James Packer , Australian billionaire, or Arnon Milchan, Israeli producer in Hollywood.
In exchange for these gifts, Netanyahu allegedly, according to the police, sought to pass a tax law that would have benefited Arnon Milchan, while trying to obtain a visa for him in the United States and granting preferential treatment to his businesses.
Secret agreement with a press boss
Benyamin Netanyahu is also accused of having tried to make a secret agreement with Arnon Moses, owner of the Yediot Aharonot, in order to obtain favorable coverage from this newspaper, Israel’s largest paying daily. In exchange, he would have offered to try to reduce by law the circulation ofIsrael Hayoma free and competitive press title.
In a third case, Benyamin Netanyahu is also accused of having favored a telecommunications group, Bezeq. In exchange, he would have obtained favorable media coverage from the online newspaper of Shaul Elovitch, the main shareholder of the company.
His indictment for corruption, fraud and breach of trust in these three cases was recorded by the Attorney General of Israel, Avihaï Mandelblit, in February 2019. Thousands of people took to the streets of the country to demand his resignation.
Illegal campaign finance
In November 2019, Avihaï Mandelblit drove the point home. He declares indicting Benyamin Netanyahu in the three corruption cases for which he was implicated. The Prime Minister denounces a “attempted coup”.
The list of misdeeds alleged against Benyamin Netanyahu does not stop there, however. In 2016, he would have received 1 million euros from a Franco-Israeli businessman, Arnaud Mimran, used by the Prime Minister to finance his electoral campaign. This transfer of money, if it had taken place, would not respect Israeli law.
At the international level, the former Israeli leader is also singled out for his role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Several NGOs have filed a complaint against him with the International Criminal Court, denouncing targeted bombardments against the civilian populations of Gaza and the use of chemical weapons, described as “war crimes”.