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Netanyahu in troubled waters

Netanyahu in troubled waters
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, suddenly finds himself in troubled waters. Police investigations have struck upon him most unexpectedly. Enough evidence has been found, they claim, for him to face court proceedings. All that is required is a go-ahead from the country's Attorney General. The beleaguered Prime Minister insists that he is innocent. In the event of him facing a trial, the nation would have to prepare itself for new elections. The ruling coalition, naturally, would have none of that at this stage. It seems that police investigations into rumours and innuendos about corruption which have been swirling around the Netanyahu family for years are now turning into more solid, grounded cases. There are now four police investigations, two against Netanyahu and his family, two against his inner circle. Case 1000 accuses Netanyahu and his family of accepting gifts from several high profile figures such as the Hollywood entrepreneur, Arnon Milchan and the Australian businessman, James Packer. Netanyahu's wife, Sara, is suspected of accepting 400,000 shekels ($113,100) and also of instituting cordon bleu meals on a regular basis for the family at the PM's residence, a privilege usually reserved for state visitors. The Israeli media blames Sara for the current state of affairs. It alleges that she has been instrumental in pushing for this lifestyle and possesses a reputation for treating employees not too well. Case 2000 involves an alleged deal with a daily to secure better coverage for Netanyahu's policies in exchange for weakening a rival. Case 3000 involves Netanyahu's lawyer and cousin, David Shimron, who is being investigated in a case regarding the acquisition of submarines from the German shipbuilder, Thyssen Krupp. Case 4000 involves Shlomo Filber, a former head of the Central Committee of Netanyahu's Likud party, who was appointed director-general of the ministry of communications shortly after the 2015 election. Filber has been suspected of supplying insider information to a major telecom company in Israel. Netanyahu's predecessors, Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, were the subjects of this investigation too. During a 10-minute live TV response to the police indictment on Tuesday evening, Netanyahu protested his innocence and reminded his audience of his devotion to the state of Israel. Despite the deep suspicion that he may, indeed, be in trouble, he is seen as the guarantor of security in a time of trauma in the Arab world. If Israel's arch-enemy Iran presses on with its build-up of hostile forces in Syria and continues to supply arms to its allies in Lebanon, the public may close its eyes to his flaws and ask that Israel's security concerns take precedence.
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