By Olivia Winters
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu of Israel faced calls for his resignation this week after yet another series of accusations of criminal activity.
According to CNN, Israeli police announced the presence of “sufficient evidence” against the Prime Minister regarding multiple charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes upwards of a total of $300,000. The Tel Aviv-born, American-raised Netanyahu is on track to be the longest Israeli Prime Minister in office, nearing the record of the principal founder of the State of Israel, David Ben-Gurion. Since taking office in 2009 following the indictment of his predecessor, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who accepted thousands of shekels in bribes during his term, Bibi has done his best to discredit the validity of the Israeli police, undermining their authority with his ultra-Orthodox ideologies.
While he has not been formally charged in this particular case, Netanyahu has come under fire in the past in relation to several high-profile cases known as Case 1000 and Case 2000, the former of which accused him of receiving gifts over 1,000,000 shekels in total, or approximately $280,000. While the gifts in Case 1000 consisted of luxury items such as cigars, bottles of champagne and jewelry, the Prime Minister is accused of giving out his own gifts in Case 2000, attempting to barter with the owner of Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper known for criticizing the PM’s policy, according to The New York Times. The ball is now in the court of the Israeli Attorney General on whether or not charges will be pressed.
Students here at Drew are feeling rocked by the news of yet another scandal in the Israeli government. A senior member of the Drew Chapter of Hillel who preferred to go unnamed stated that she is “NOT A FAN” of Netanyahu’s policies. Juliet O’Connor (’19) expressed a similar sentiment, telling The Drew Acorn, “I think Israel will 100% benefit from a new leader.”
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