Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The police will issue recommendations to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, but he will be cleared of all charges, Netanyahu himself predicted in a speech to Likud activists at a Hanukka party Tuesday at Ramat Gan’s Kfar Maccabiah.
Netanyahu accused the press, the Left, and the New Israel Fund of an “organized witch hunt” aimed at unseating him. The crowd booed whenever Netanyahu mentioned the press, the NIF, anti-corruption protests, and the name of President Reuven Rivlin.
“In a matter of weeks, analysts will lead news shows with headlines on recommendations that are grave, very grave, even among the most grave the state has known,” Netanyahu said while laughing mockingly. “Already in January, they said police would soon recommend an indictment. So there will be recommendations. So what? Most recommendations of police lead to nothing. More than 60% of the time police recommendations are thrown in the garbage.
It happens to thousands of Israelis, including countless public figures, and meanwhile, it ruins lives, harms reputations. The recommendations will lead nowhere because nothing happened.”
Netanyahu lashed out at the anti-corruption protests, saying that they are political and organized by people who are themselves corrupt. He said the demonstrations are funded by the New Israel Fund, a charge vigorously denied Tuesday night by NIF head Mickey Gitzin.
Benjamin Netanyahu dismissive of corruption allegations on January 2, 2017
“They want to court-martial me on Rothschild Boulevard,” Netanyahu said. “But they will have to wait patiently. There will be elections in two years, the press will be drafted against me again, and they will lose again.”
While the crowd booed at the mention of the country’s president, it cheered when Netanyahu spoke of US president Donald Trump and his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and start the process of moving the American Embassy there.
“I told President Trump that keeping a promise was the right thing to do,” Netanyahu said. “Some tried to tell him Israel doesn’t really want [the capital recognized or the embassy moved]. He asked me whether Israel wants it. I said, ‘Israel has wanted it for thousands of years.’ This step will be remembered for generations, as will President Trump visiting the Kotel.”
Netanyahu accused some in the international community of historical revisionism.
“They say the Western Wall is occupied, but I say it’s ours, was, is, and always will be,” he said. “When anyone tries to change history, I say the Maccabees weren’t Palestinians but proud Jews.”
Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni responded to Netanyahu’s speech by saying that he cannot paint himself as a victim and accused him of trying to destroy the Israeli legal system to save his own skin.
Earlier, when Netanyahu addressed the annual Bible Quiz for adults in the capital, protesters heckled him, complaining about Israeli arms sales to Myanmar. The protesters were detained and outshouted by chants in support of the prime minister.