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Tens of Thousands of Israelis Protest Against Netanyahu Regime Corruption

 December 4, 2017 

Israeli participate in a protest against Netanyahu corruption, in Tel Aviv, December 2, 2017  


Tens of thousands join anti-corruption protest on streets of Tel Aviv

The Guardian, Agence France-Presse in Tel Aviv

Sunday 3 December 2017, 11.37 am EST

Demonstrators protested the slow pace of investigations into Benjamin Netanyahu, who is suspected of taking luxury gifts

Tens of thousands of people have protested in Tel Aviv against alleged corruption within the government and the slow pace of investigations of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is suspected of receiving luxury gifts from wealthy supporters and has also faced police questioning over a secret deal he allegedly sought for favourable coverage with the publisher of the top-selling Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.

Protesters massed in a large boulevard of an upmarket neighbourhood late on Saturday shouting “shame” and “Bibi go home”, referring to the prime minister by his nickname.

The rally – dubbed “the march of shame” – was organised by the leaders of weekly protests that have taken place outside the home of the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, over the past few months.

“Bibi and his government are destroying the country. There’s been enough corruption,” said one demonstrator, Michal, a Tel Aviv resident who preferred not to give his full name.

The opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, expressed solidarity with the protesters, writing on Facebook that “the frustration … stems from a feeling of injustice, revulsion against corruption and the moral objection to a law made to measure for one person”.

Netanyahus allegedly demanded free cigars and champagne from associates.

Assistant to James Packer and Arnon Milchan reportedly tells police Israeli PM and wife routinely called to request favours Read more

On Monday, Israel’s parliament give a second and third reading of a bill that Netanyahu’s opponents say is designed to help him survive the police investigation.

The bill’s sponsor, David Amsalem, of Netanyahu’s Likud party, said he sought only to protect the rights and reputation of suspects.

Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from affluent individuals including the Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who has also been questioned.

Milchan, a long-time friend of Netanyahu, reportedly sent him boxes of expensive cigars and other items worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Milchan has denied the gifts were part of any improper quid pro quo, according to Israeli media.

The police also suspect that Netanyahu sought a secret pact – not believed to have been finalised – under which he would have received favourable coverage in return for helping curb Yedioth’s competitor, the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom.

Netanyahu has consistently denied any wrongdoing and says he has been the target of a campaign by political opponents.


Tens of thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu, corruption

December 2, 2017 / 4:18 PM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A

bout 20,000 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday against government corruption and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is under criminal investigation over allegations of abuse of office.

Israelis take part in a protest against corruption in Tel Aviv, Israel December 2, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen


The demonstration was by far the largest of weekly anti-corruption protests sparked by corruption allegations against Netanyahu, who denies any wrongdoing.

The four-term leader is suspected of involvement in two cases. The first involves receiving gifts from wealthy businessmen and the second involves negotiating a deal with a newspaper owner for better coverage in return for curbs on a rival daily.

Saturday’s protest was prompted by a draft law expected to be ratified by parliament next week, which would bar police from publishing its findings in two investigations of Netanyahu.

Israelis take part in a protest against corruption in Tel Aviv, Israel December 2, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A Reuters cameraman and Israeli media put the number of demonstrators at about 20,000. Police would not provide an official estimate.

Critics say the draft law is a blatant attempt to protect Netanyahu and keep the public in the dark about his investigation. Supporters of the legislation say it is meant to protect suspects’ rights.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Netanyahu has said he has no interest in promoting personal legislation but he has not ordered its two sponsors, close confidants in his Likud party, to withdraw the bill.

Netanyahu has described himself as a victim of a political witch hunt and said of the cases against him: “There will be nothing because there is nothing.”

If charged, he would come under heavy pressure to resign or could call an election to test whether he still had a mandate.

Reporting by Rami Amichay; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Richard Balmforth. 


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