Turkish Analysts Say There's Reason to Believe Netanyahu is Guilty of Corruption

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives an address at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives an address at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. - Sputnik International
Israel's Attorney-General has praised a police investigation into the Prime Minister, saying it was done 'by the book.' In Israeli this week, police announced that they have collected enough evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of corruption, fraud and breach of trust following an investigation into two criminal cases.

Netanyahu denies all charges against him, stating that “over the years I was the subject of endless attacks and investigations for the sole goal of bringing me down.”

Is there a political context to these accusation against Netanyahu? Is it possible that the Israeli Prime Minister, while creating an image of an external enemy in foreign policy, in particular, in the face of Iran and its nuclear threat, tried to divert attention from his own actions inside the country? Sputnik discussed the situation surrounding Israel's corruption scandal with political analyst Mehmet Ali Güller and editor-in-chief of Shalom newspaper Ivo Molinas.

Ivo Molinas told Sputnik Turkey that the charges against Netanyahu are quite serious.

“This investigation is an important indicator that the democratic system in Israel is functioning correctly. The justice system makes it possible to initiate an investigation even against a very influential figure, the Prime Minister. This is very important. There is great reason to believe that Netanyahu is guilty of the incriminated offenses. There are two different charges against him. One of them is that he received expensive gifts from one businessman in exchange for certain benefits. The second charge is connected with the fact that he built a political relationship with the head of one newspaper and carried [out] actions against its direct rival. These are very serious accusations.”

Meanwhile, stressing that the probe into Netanyahu is unlikely to result in criminal charges, Molinas said: “I don't think this case will lead to concrete results, because the Netanyahu government is very strong. In addition, such an investigation could lead to a government crisis, and in a situation of continuing turmoil and instability in the Middle East, I don't think that the Israeli authorities will allow for a government crisis in the country. I believe that the investigation into Netanyahu will ultimately become stagnant,” he said.

READ MORE: Nearly Half of Israelis Want Netanyahu to Resign Amid Corruption Scandal — Poll

Journalist Mehmet Ali Güller also spoke about the situation to Sputnik. According to Güller, Israel is going through a serious corruption scandal, the cause of which is much deeper than it first seems: “The evidence against Netanyahu looks quite reliable, most likely, the Israeli Prime Minister is corrupt. However, the issue here is related not so much to the corruption as to the existing inner-Jewish struggle that extends to Soros. This is evident from the most significant political activity of Netanyahu,” Güller said.

At the heart of the current scandal, according to Güller, is the clash between Netanyahu and Soros. He lists five reasons that support this idea:

“First of all, Netanyahu had a bad relationship with former US President Barack Obama, because of the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear deal. He even refused to meet with Obama, instead opting to hold talks with Vice President Joe Biden.

Secondly, former US President Barack Obama during his speech in Cairo in 2009 stated that a two-state solution is needed to provide for Israeli-Palestinian peace. In response to such a statement, Netanyahu for the first time pronounced the phrase 'Palestinian state', but also demanded that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives an address at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. - Sputnik International
Netanyahu Likely to Get Off Scot-Free in Corruption Case – Political Analyst
Thirdly, last year Netanyahu's son posted a cartoon of Soros on social media, which caused great controversy both in Israel itself and in the United States. The thing is, that this cartoon was directed not only at Soros, it also contained a reference to allegations that 'the world is ruled by Jews'.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said then that Netanyahu's son should receive psychological treatment, while the far-right groups in the US supported the Israeli Prime Minister's son. Barak and others, who became the target of the cartoons along with Soros, had been pointing out to the history of corruption that involved the Netanyahu family for some time.

Fourthly, the confrontation between Netanyahu and Soros continues along other lines. For example, earlier this month, Netanyahu accused Soros of starting a campaign to thwart Israel's plan to deport African migrants from the country.

READ MORE: From Cigars to Submarines: Top 5 Corruption Cases Surrounding Israel's Netanyahu

And, finally, Netanyahu has a much better relationship with Trump than with Obama. They have a common position on Iran and both oppose the steps taken by Obama to normalize relations with Iran. Trump's initiative on Jerusalem was also met with satisfaction from Netanyahu. Soros, in turn, is one of those who zealously criticizes Trump. Less than a month ago, he called the Trump administration 'a danger to the world.' Calling Trump 'a liar and a con artist', Soros predicted the fate of the 'would-be dictator' that will 'disappear by 2020',” Güller concluded.

The views expressed in this article by Mehmet Ali Güller and Ivo Molinas are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.

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