Netanyahu Fumes as Police Call for His Indictment

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 |  Ryan Jones

Calls for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's immediate resignation have reached fever pitch after the Israel Police on Tuesday publically recommended his indictment for corruption.

The recommendation will now be thoroughly reviewed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who has the final say on whether or not to officially charge the prime minister's over his alleged dirty dealings.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned after he was indicted on charges of corruption, and opposition lawmakers are demanding Netanyahu do the same, though the law does not require it of him.

Even former Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party was part of Netanyahu's previous governing coalition, insisted the prime minister must step down.

"Even if the letter of the law doesn’t obligate the prime minister to resign, in a proper country a person accused of such serious allegations… cannot continue to serve as prime minister," Lapid told reporters. "There is no way to manage a country while you are fighting such serious suspicions."

It was Lapid's own testimony to police that many believe made the case for indictment. Lapid told them that as finance minister, he had come face-to-face with crooked behavior on the part of Netanyahu for the benefit of his wealthy patrons. Others accused Lapid of scheming to bring down Netanyahu to serve his own agenda of becoming prime minister.

For his part, Netanyahu called the Police recommendation "slanderous" and "outrageous," and lashed out at his detractors. Netanyahu insisted he will not resign, since, unlike Olmert, he is innocent.

"This time, too, things will end without anything. These recommendations have no place in a democratic state," Netanyahu stated adamantly.

Netanyahu did get one bit of good news when top coalition partner Kulanu, headed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, announced it would not abandon the prime minister.

Writing on Facebook, Kahlon reminded Israelis that at this point, there is merely a Police recommendation, not an official indictment. But Kahlon also urged Netanyahu to stop attacking the police and let them do their job.

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