Political paralysis deepens in Israel as PM Benjamin Netanyahu indicted

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister could be at the end of his political career.

For more than 10 years, Benjamin Netanyahu – once dubbed the ‘king of Israel’ – has governed the Middle Eastern country. But perhaps not for much longer.

The divisive leader has been indicted on serious corruption charges, including bribery, breach of trust and fraud, following a three year investigation, the attorney general announced on Friday (Australian time).

What are the allegations?

  • Mr Netanyahu allegedly accepted expensive gifts such as pink champagne and cigars from billionaires such as Australian businessman James Packer in return for political favours.
  • He allegedly struck a deal with the owner of Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth to receive favourable media coverage in return for making laws that would slow the growth of competing newspaper Israel Hayom.
  • He allegedly promoted regulatory decisions that favoured Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq in exchange for favourable coverage on Walla!

Mr Netanyahu has denied all three charges, instead blaming a “witch hunt” by the media.

He is under no legal obligation to resign, and if the cunning political manoeuvring of his past is any indication to go by, it looks like he won’t go down without a fight.

Read the article by Samantha Dick in The New Daily.