Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Tuesday morning announced that he will not participate in a scheduled event at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center-Poriya near Tiberias. Instead, the PM will be in all-day consultations with his lawyers, ahead of the publication of police recommendations regarding the investigations of files 1000 and 2000.
File 1000, a.k.a. the gift affair, is a criminal investigation conducted by the Israeli police against Netanyahu, on suspicion of receiving favors and gifts from businessmen, most notably Arnon Milchan, Israeli billionaire businessman and producer of more than 130 full-length motion pictures. The investigation officially began in December 2016.
File 2000. A.k.a. the Netanyahu-Mozes affair, is a criminal investigation conducted since January 2017 on suspicion of coordinated moves between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, publisher and editor-in-chief of Yedioth Aharonth, to restrict the daily Israel Hayom in exchange for favorable coverage of the PM by Yedioth and its online edition, Ynet. Police also investigated MK Eitan Cabel (Zionsit Camp) who sponsored a bill to restrict Israel Hayom, thus benefiting Yedioth.
On Monday, a panel of three High Court of Justice judges rejected a petition submitted by attorney Yossi Fuchs, asking the court to instruct the police commissioner not to include police recommendations in involving Prime Minister Netanyahu as a suspect. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit instructed police to enclose their recommendations to indict to their report to the state prosecution.
In rejecting the petition, the judges stated, “We did not find that the Attorney General’s guidelines had a flaw of illegality or unreasonableness.”
Netanyahu has convened his lawyers and associates on Tuesday, in an attempt to consolidate his response in both legal affairs.
Speaking to Channel 2 News, Netanyahu was mercilessly frank in his view regarding the proper behavior of a prime minister under police investigation: “A prime minister who is sunk up to his neck in interrogations – he has no moral and public mandate to determine fateful issues for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“There is a concern—I have to say real and not unfounded—that [such a prime minister] will make decisions based on the personal interest of his political survival and not on the basis of national interest,” Netanyahu warned. “The right thing to do is for this government to go home, to return its mandate to the voter.”
Netanyahu shared his impeccable convictions in 2008, when he was head of the Knesset oppsition, and the prime minister under police investigation was Ehud Olmert (Kadima).