Israeli political turmoil: Netanyahu investigation

WHAT IT IS

WHY IT MATTERS

Israel is one of the U.S.’s strongest allies in the Middle East, and being embroiled in corruption allegations does not depict a benevolent government. Netanyahu and Trump have similar views on Palestine and Middle East relations, so if anything comes of these allegations, it could create a rift and halt potential progress. The U.S. and the West look towards Israel as a fortifying presence in the Middle East, and this turmoil could allow Hamas and neighboring countries to take advantage.

  • PRO NETANYAHU – “He’s innocent!”

    • Unfair:   PM Netanyahu is innocent until proven guilty, and it is “unfair” for anyone to come to conclusions that he was involved.
    • Family business:   Netanyahu’s wife has been under scrutiny for “misusing funds” before and was proven innocent then. This is a similar case that could come to the same conclusion.
    • Stipulations in the law:   It is still not determined whether Netanyahu had any “quid pro quo” with the wealthy businessmen and Israeli law allows public representatives to receive gifts that are of “small value and reasonable in context”.
  • ANTI NETANYAHU – “He’s guilty!”

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Sara Netanyahu was indicted for fraud on September 8, 2017, intensifying the investigation into the administration.
  • There is currently a gag order on Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, who turned state witness recently. That gag order is supposed to be lifted on September 17, 2017.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Here is a timeline/profile by BBC of Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Should this scandal impact Israeli U.S. relations?