Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the police on Tuesday evening for the string of ongoing corruption investigations being conducted against him, saying that “the majority of the recommendations made by the police are thrown to the garbage.”
Speaking at a Likud party event celebrating the eighth and final night of Hanukkah, the prime minister slammed the series of protests that have been staged in recent weeks in Tel Aviv over governmental corruption, while adding that any recommendations to indict him for wrongdoing carried little weight.
“The slanderers in the street squares will try to inflate the balloon before all the air is out of it,” a confident Netanyahu said, before slamming the investigations against him. “It is a waste of time, a waste of public money. So there will be recommendation. So what?”
“Here is a little spoiler for you. In a few weeks journalists and commentators will return to the TV studios and will open the newscasts with the explosive headlines: ‘The most serious recommendations. It has to be said very serious, among the most serious the state has ever known,’” he added sardonically.
“Of course, you are asking yourselves how I know all this. By January, almost a year ago, it was leaked that ‘the police will recommend that an indictment is submitted against Netanyahu.’ There’s good journalism. They knew even a year ago, just a few days after me, that an investigation would be opened.
“So I have a question, why did they need another five investigations? Why did they need another year?”
Continuing his tirade, he said that a fact that was likely unknown to the public was that the “vast majority of the police recommendations end with nothing. I am talking about recommendations against thousands of citizens and public figures, ministers, MKs. It begins in the headlines and explodes and most of the time it ends with nothing.”
Responding to the speech, police officials said it was “very strange” and expressed bewilderment as to why the prime minister was launching his fresh verbal assault.
“We have no idea why he is speaking to us and why he is attacking us,” a senior police official told Ynet. “It seems he now speaks for the attorney general because he knows what is in the case. We didn’t know about this speech. No one prepared us for it but it sounds strange.”
Regarding the claim made during the speech that as early as January this year an indictment was already in the offing for Netanyahu’s alleged acceptance of illicit gifts from Arnon Milchan, also known as Case 1000, the official said that this could be attributed to the changing details in the case.
“It is true that since then we continued to investigate and overturn every rock in order to get o the truth and now we have a now a case of bribery, not accepting receiving gifts. That is the reason that the investigation was extended. When everything is publicized, everyone will understand what materials we have collected.”
By Eli Senyor and Moran Azulay, Ynet News