Netanyahu Slams Israeli Media, Opposition for Attempts to Smear Government

Protesters backing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu show their support outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in Petah Tikva

Echoing President Donald Trump, Netanyahu accused the media establishment of purveying "fake news" to topple a right-wing government. "They know that we win time after time in the elections because we brought the State of Israel to its best situation in its history". "They are enlisting now in an obsessive and unprecedented hunt against me and my family with a goal to carry out a government coup". In exchange, Israeli media says the prime minister called up then Secretary of State John Kerry to help Milchan secure a USA visa, reports the Washington Post. Mrs Netanyahu has denied all the allegations against her, but the police recommended indicting her past year, and the attorney-general is close to doing so, according to a report on Channel 2, the Israeli TV channel. He repeated his signature phrase, "there will be nothing because there was nothing".

The gathering had a festive, at times raucous atmosphere, with activists hoisting Israeli flags, banners criticizing the media and chanting "Bibi, King of Israel", using his nickname. One case, known as Case 1000, involves allegations concerning inappropriate acceptance of gifts from businessmen.

Another investigation seeks to determine whether he would have tried to enter into a secret agreement with the owner of Yedioth for a positive coverage from the newspaper, in exchange for which it would have helped to reduce the operations of Israel Hayom, competitor Yedioth.

Those allegations couldn't chip the support of longtime Likud supporter Weizman Shalom.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon lashed out at Netanyahu on Twitter, saying there was a "war" going on over the image of leadership of the Right. "You will not fall, be strong".

"We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister", a statement from the premier's office on Friday said. Mr. Netanyahu played down the content of talks between him and Mozes when questioned by police but Harow reportedly told another story, one that incriminates the prime minister. "We are also holding a support rally so Likud morale will be high and to align the ranks".

But many wonder if this strong show of force can be sustained under the weight of criminal charges. Israeli Police are expected to wait until after the Jewish High Holidays in late September to issue their recommendation, and it will take a number of months after that for the attorney general to formally issue the ruling.

Although Netanyahu would not be forced to resign if indicted, it would increase pressure on him to step down after 11 years in office.

The justice ministry denied that a final decision had been made.

Netanyahu is also embroiled in two other corruption investigations.

But Professor Gadi Wolfsfeld, who teaches political communications at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, said the notion that there is nobody to replace Mr Netanyahu holds "until it happens".

Sara Netanyahu was interrogated for 12 hours about a number of matters in December 2016, including Fahima's activity and hosting expenses at the Prime Minister's residence.

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