The media in Israel is full of the news that the police have recommended to indict PM Netanyahu on bribery charges in two cases. Note that these recommendations are not binding. State Attorney General Mandelblit can ignore them, consider them and/or act on them as he sees fit. The PM in his statement in response to the police recommendations emphasized this. After more than a year of investigations the police decision is merely a recommendation, no more.
But, it is certainly embarrassing to Netanyahu that this is their decision. He would certainly have preferred that they simply drop the cases. However, sufficient evidence was discovered to proceed. In Case 1000, also called “the gifts affair,” Netanyahu is accused of accepting bribes totalling ca. NIS 1 million in the form of cigars, jewellery and other luxury goods, from two businessmen, Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer. In exchange Netanyahu is accused of carrying out several actions to promote the business interests of these men. One includes assisting Milchan to extend his visa to the US.
The other instance, Case 2000, involves alleged actions by Netanyahu to aid publisher Arnon Mozes that would have helped his newspaper Yediot Aharonot (latest news), against his main competitor Israel Hayom (Israel today), that supports Netanyahu. Supposedly in exchange for better treatment in his newspaper, Netanyahu is supposed to have supported a bill to restrict the circulation of Israel Hayom, that is owned by his friend US billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Netanyahu adamantly denies this charge. In Case 3000, the so-called “submarine affair” Netanyahu was found not to be directly involved in any bribery.
Since these police recommendations do not have the force of law, actually nothing has happened yet to change the situation. If Mandelblit does decide there is enough evidence to indict him then things will change significantly. However, Netanyahu is correct when he points out that during his term in office there have been 15 recommendations brought against him by the police and none have resulted in any indictments. Netanyahu concludes that the police are “out to get him” but on the other hand, attempts to indict the elected leaders are a feature of some democracies. Look at what is happening against Pres. Trump in the US over the so-called “Russian collusion” affair, that seems to have not a shred of real evidence. As far as I am concerned, let Netanyahu enjoy his cigars and whisky, as long as he keeps Israel safe, strong and prosperous.