Benjamin Netanyahu’s Media Mischief

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is currently in a flurry of scandals.

According to the BBC, Netanyahu remains defiant even after dealing with the latest allegations of bribery.

1A, a show distributed by NPR, states that the main allegation against Netanyahu claims that he asked the publisher of Yediot Aharonot, an Israeli newspaper, for positive coverage in exchange for going after a rival newspaper.

The other charge in this case, according to AP, is one that involves the exchange of favors for Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan for expensive gifts, such as cigars and champagne.

According to Haaretz, Arnon Milchan has ties to Israel and played a part in building up Israel’s military and nuclear capabilities. He moved to the United States for a Hollywood career in the 80s.

In addition, according to the Los Angeles Times, Milchan is cryptic to the media, accepting few interviews. Along with remaining in the Israeli arms business, Milchan also helps brand Israel in Hollywood.

Beyond the latest corruption scandal, Netanyahu has an interesting history when it comes to the media.

According to The Times of Israel, another one of Netanyahu’s crimes is his various attempts at manipulating the media and creating monopolies in his favor.

In 2015, Netanyahu appointed himself as communications minister of Israel. While minister, Netanyahu, amongst other controversies, tried to stop a bill that would prohibit free newspapers and claimed that free newspaper distribution is the equivalent of dumping.

Brookings explains that Netanyahu felt that the liberal media in Israel was against him. This changed in 2007, when an Israeli newspaper called Israel Hayom appeared.

Israel Hayom is funded by Sheldon Adelson, a conservative casino magnate who backs conservative causes like Donald Trump’s presidency.

Considering Israel Hayom is distributed for free and supports Netanyahu, it is understandable why Netanyahu wanted to stop the bill from being passed.

The allegations related to Israel Hayom fall under Case 2000, which is one of the several current corruption cases against Prime Minister Netanyahu.

This is not the only allegation of foul play regarding the media that Netanyahu is facing.

According to the Financial Times, Israeli police are now investigating if the Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq received regulatory benefits by providing positive media coverage to Netanyahu through Bezeq’s main news website, Walla.  

The Israel Securities Authority (ISA), according to Reuters, has been investigating Bezeq for some time due to financial crimes, but Israeli media has only recently looked into the allegations dealing with President Netanyahu.  

The issue with Bezeq is the latest chapter of Netanyahu criminal troubles.

The Times of Israel states that police in this new investigation, now dubbed Case 4000, may not be able to give their recommendations to the public.

As explained by The Jerusalem Post, a new law called the Police Recommendations Law prevents investigators from informing prosecutors about their views on indictment and prevents them from leaking the conclusions.

According to the Times of Israel, this law has been used to defend Netanyahu from criminal charges. Due to the Police Recommendations Law, the ISA would have limited ability to publish their recommendations on Netanyahu or anyone connected to a case.

The situation for all three cases is ongoing, with future allegations likely to appear.

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