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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Israel's leftist police elitists once again cause embarrassment with phony, petty accusations against Netanyahu

This is nearly the 20th time in at least 2 decades that the police have sought to get Netanyahu indicted over bogus charges of fraud, no matter how slight the supposed evidence is. Caroline Glick laid out the details, and tells that Yair Lapid, former minister himself, is among those trying to bring him down:
The police allege that between 2007 and 2016, Milchen showered Netanyahu and his wife Sara with cigars, champagne, and jewelry, often purchased at their request. In 2014, Milchen’s business partner, Australian businessman James Packer, who was also a friend of Netanyahu and his family, allegedly began giving similar gifts to the Netanyahu family.

In exchange for those gifts, the police allege that Netanyahu supported extending a law passed in 2008, when Netanyahu was the head of the parliamentary opposition, that gave returning Israeli expatriates a ten year exemption on income earned abroad and a ten year exemption for reporting income earned abroad.

According to the police, after Netanyahu returned to office in 2009, Milchen lobbied Netanyahu’s finance minister at the time, Yair Lapid, to extend the tax and reporting exemption period from ten to twenty years. Lapid, who is now in the opposition, heads the center-left Yesh Atid party. If Netanyahu’s Likud party fails to win the next election, according to the polls, Lapid and his Yesh Atid party will form the next government.

In other words, today, Lapid is Netanyahu’s chief political rival.

On Tuesday, the police told reporters that Lapid is the key witness against Netanyahu in Investigation 1000.

In other words, Netanyahu’s chief political rival is the key witness against him.
And I won't be shocked if he's utterly dishonest about how things turned out. But maybe even more telling how false this investigation is would be the following involving Israel Hayom and Yediot Achronot:
In the second probe, dubbed Investigation 2000, the police recommend indicting Netanyahu following a discussion he held – and recorded surreptitiously – in 2014 with Arnon Mozes, the publisher and controlling owner of Israel’s mass circulation daily, Yediot Ahronot. The police found the recorded conversation on the mobile phone of Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, who is the subject of a separate and unrelated influence-peddling probe. Netanyahu claims he recorded their conversation on the advice of his attorney because he was afraid that Mozes would try to extort him.

The police claim that the conversation is proof that Mozes offered Netanyahu a bribe and that Netanyahu accepted the offer. They recommend charging Mozes with bribing Netanyahu, and charging Netanyahu with accepting a bribe from Mozes.

The odd thing about this claim is that no deal was struck. To the contrary.

Mozes is Netanyahu’s nemesis. Yediot Ahronot is the most influential newspaper in Israel. Its front page dictates the daily news programming for radio and television broadcasts. And Yediot Ahronot‘s coverage of Netanyahu is implacably hostile to the premier and to his family. To a lesser but significant degree, Yediot Ahronot is also deeply hostile to the Israeli political right.

According to the recording of the men’s conversation, which was leaked to the media by the police more than a year ago, Netanyahu and Mozes discussed an elaborate scheme to change the newspaper market in Israel in Yediot Ahronot‘s favor.

Israel’s largest circulation paper is Israel Hayom, a free tabloid that is owned by conservative American billionaire — and Netanyahu supporter — Sheldon Adelson. In their recorded conversation, Mozes raised the possibility of Netanyahu curtailing government advertising in Israel Hayom and working to cut back its circulation in order to increase Yediot Ahronot‘s market share.

In exchange, Mozes offered to scale back the negative tone of his paper’s coverage of Netanyahu.

In the event, nothing came of the conversation. Indeed, in late 2014, against Netanyahu’s expressed wishes, then-justice minister Tzipi Livni put forward a controversial media bill, which was based on a legal opinion written by Yediot Ahronot‘s legal advisor. The bill, which was dubbed the “Israel Hayom law,” would have forced the shutdown of the paper by barring its owners from not charging money for it.

The law passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset with 43 votes. Netanyahu and his Likud Party voted against the bill. Moreover, to prevent the bill from going forward, Netanyahu disbanded his government and the Knesset and called new elections a bit more than a year into his term.

In other words, to prevent any harm to Israel Hayom – and transitively, to prevent any advantage from being accrued to Yediot Ahronot — Netanyahu took the radical step of standing for election again.

For more than a year, the police refused to investigate any of the 43 lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill, or to analyze the coverage they received in Yediot Ahronot in following their support. Three weeks ago, the bill’s sponsor, Labor Party member of Knesset Eitan Cabel — who enjoyed extraordinary coverage in the paper — was brought in for a brief interview.

In other words, the police are recommending that Netanyahu be indicted for a conversation that went nowhere, which he recorded. And the police are not investigating 42 out of the 43 lawmakers that supported a move that would have given Mozes everything he asked Netanyahu for, but didn’t receive, while the 43rd lawmaker was subject merely to a brief interrogation.
It doesn't take a genius based on this to realize the charges are basically false, and doubtless the police even pre-determined they were going to recommend an indictment no matter how flimsy the details were to begin with. If Adelson's not against Netanyahu, that in itself should prove he doesn't think - and practically knows - Netanyahu had no intention of undermining his paper properties.

The harm done by police to the taxpayers is considerable:
The endless stream of criminal investigations against Netanyahu has involved investigating witnesses across the globe, and has cost tens of millions of shekels to Israeli taxpayers.
There's also some parallels to the petty investigations conducted against Donald Trump in this case. The attorney general should not approve an indictment and the police have to cut this out and stop wasting our tax currencies. And above all, apologize for their incredibly anti-conservative positions.

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