Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced on Thursday, February 28, his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing.
Mendelblit’s decision comes after three years of investigations, and it marks the first time in Israel’s history that an attorney general announces an indictment for bribery against an incumbent prime minister.
“You have damaged the image of public service and the faith of the public in it,” Mendelblit wrote to Netanyahu in his decision. “You have acted with a conflict of interests: you abused your authority while taking into account other considerations that relate to your own personal interests and those of your family. You have corrupted public servants working under you.”
Hadash MK Ayman Odeh responded to Attorney-General decision by saying that Netanyahu should sent to prison. “Netanyahu’s incitement against the Arab population, his branding of the Left as traitors, and his incessant divisiveness were all intended to distract from his own corruption,” Odeh said. “Bibi’s top priority is only himself, certainly not those of the state’s citizens.”
Odeh opined that “Netanyahu should not be removed only because he is corrupt. It is necessary to turn out the fascist right-wing regime that not only works against the rule of law, but is also guilty of war-warmongering, foments racism, and threatens to eliminate the democratic space within society. We offer a Left alternative, a Jewish-Arab partnership, a clean and ethical society – peace, equality and justice.”
Netanyahu’s Likud party released a statement slamming the Attorney General’s decision, which it called “leftist political persecution.” The Likud blasted Mendelblit for the timing of the publication of his decision, with less than 6 weeks to the general elections on April 9.