Caroline Glick: Charges Against Netanyahu Are ‘Bogus’
Israeli-American journalist Caroline Glick argued in a Feb. 14 column that the Israeli police’s recommendation of indicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over charges of corruption are “bogus” and are indicative of a grudge that the Israeli police have against Netanyahu.
The first case, Investigation 1000, involves Netanyahu allegedly accepting gifts from Hollywood movie mogul Arnon Milchen in exchange for Netanyahu supporting an extension of a law that exempts Israelis from paying taxes on income they earned elsewhere. Netanyahu is also said to have supported Milchen in possible business deals with Israeli television stations as well as urged then-Secretary of State John Kerry to renew Milchen’s U.S. visa.
Click argued in her column that with exception of advocating for Milchen’s visa renewal, Netanyahu never really acted on Milchen’s interests, and the visa renewal advocacy was justifiable.
“Milchen himself has a long record of service to Israel’s Mossad — its foreign spy service — and reportedly has contributed significantly to Israel’s defense,” Glick wrote. “Netanyahu claims that he acted out of respect for Milchen’s long service to Israel’s security. In addition, Israel’s late president and prime minister, left-wing icon Shimon Peres, also intervened on Milchen’s behalf with U.S. authorities.”
Investigation 2000, the second case, involves Netanyahu allegedly discussing a deal with Yediot Ahoronot publisher Arnon Mozes in which Mozes would have provided more positive coverage of Netanyahu if he supported a bill that would have hampered the circulation of Yediot Ahoronot’s competitor, Israel Hayom.
While there is a recording of the conversation, Glick notes that there is no evidence the discussed deal ever occurred, as Netanyahu vocally opposed the bill that Mozes wanted passed. In fact, “Netanyahu disbanded his government and the Knesset and called new elections a bit more than a year into his term” to ensure that the bill never saw the light of day.
“In other words, the police are recommending that Netanyahu be indicted for a conversation that went nowhere, which he recorded,” Glick wrote. “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.”
Glick then pointed out that Israeli police have investigated Netanyahu and his wife multiple times during his stints as prime minister and none of them have ever produced anything substantial. She also noted that Israeli police chief Roni Alscheich leveled baseless claims against Netanyahu in a recent interview, including that the prime minister sent out private investigators against the police and that Netanyahu attempted to bribe Alscheich.
“Even the police’s most fervent media supporters were aghast at Alsheich’s allegations – coupled with the fact that he has refused to investigate any of them,” Glick wrote. “To summarize: just as the police were set to announce their recommendations, Alsheich made clear that he has a personal vendetta against Netanyahu and is prepared to overthrow his government.”
Glick concluded her column by noting that the Israeli Knesset has no way to provide oversight over the Israeli police, which differentiates it from the U.S. Congress’ oversight powers of the FBI.
Read the full column here.