Photo: Gil Yohanan
PM Netanyahu
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Netanyahu fights back: an endless, hypocritical witch-hunt

PM Netanyahu speaks before Knesset plenum on Wednesday, saying that 'Anyone with eyes in their head' can see the campaign being run against him in effort to replace government; during a Q&A session, Knesset Speaker Edelstein prohibits MKs from asking questions about PM investigations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds to his many critics within the Knesset on Wednesday, going on the attack from the Knesset podium and declaring his innocence.



Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein prohibited MKs from asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about ongoing police investigations during a Q&A session on Wednesday afternoon. Edelstein warned MKs that any questions not related to government activities will not be allowed, which sparked intense outbursts and shouting matches among parliament members.


Prime Minister Netanyahu taking questions from the Knesset (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Prime Minister Netanyahu taking questions from the Knesset (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


After answering several questions on other matters, Netanyahu himself raised questions regarding the current investigations against him. "I've heard several things here. About certain supposed contacts, about disbanding the government. I hear the mockery and defiance. What a celebration of hypocrisy. Why don't you wait, I mean what a carnival of self-righteousness."


"Anyone with eyes in their head can see there is an unprecedented, hypocritical witch-hunt going on, asserting its pressure to change the government through media pressure on the attorney general, so that he will submit an indictment at any cost," added Netanyahu. "People, by the way, are saying this. Politicians, those in the media, commentators are saying this. (These people) are terrorizing those in charge of enforcing the law, and their message is clear: if you don't indict Netanyahu, you no legal expert. They tell them: bring me the head of Netanyahu, and if not, you're no attorney general, you're no state attorney."


"In responding to you, I cannot refer to the details of the investigations," added Netanyahu. "So instead I'd like to tell you a story."


Netanyahu then mentioned a former bill that sought to only allow Israeli citizens to own Israeli newspapers. "Its intent was obvious: to sabotage Israel Hayom, the only right-wing newspaper in the country of a national caliber, the only large-scale media organization to not be controlled by the left. I fought with all my strength, and indeed, only ten MKs voted for this twisted bill."


Netanyahu continued to say that to his surprise, several years later another bill came along aiming to shut down Israel Hayom, which he also opposed. He stated the Justice minister at the time, current MK Tzipi Livni, ignored the opinion of the attorney general, who found the bill to be unconstitutional. "Instead," said Netanyahu. "She relies on the opinion on Noni Mozes, something she admits to. Surprisingly, I find out she has the necessary backing in the Ministerial Committee."


Netanyahu continued to detail how he found himself "in the shining minority," with 43 MKs willing to vote for the bill. "Not only is there a complete lack of decency or balance in the media, but they try to close the only media outlet that presents the different opinion of a large public." He stressed that after seeing an overall attempt to stifle other media opinions and an attempt to go after him as prime minister, he decides to disperse the Knesset.


"And after these elections and during their campaign, when my family and I, my wife and also my children, as we take awful, daily hits from Yedioth Ahronoth and hourly hits from Ynet, and after winning the elections, I insist that the new government adhere to an agreement that prohibits such a bill from being permission without my activity, and indeed they did not," said Netanyahu.


"No one has fought harder than I did against the Israel Hayom Bill out of the importance of freedom of the press, diversity and pluralism. I have to say to the leaders sitting here now and to those who aren't, that in reality no one fought for it. And I'm being investigated? I'm being accused? That's a lousy joke. Before investigating me, they should investigate the 43 MKs who voted for the bill and got a cushy deal from Noni Mozes," added Netanyahu.


MKs Dov Khenin (Joint List) and Revital Swid (Zionist Union) of the opposition asked the prime minister questions about the various affairs for which he is being investigated, including conflict of interest at the Ministry of Communication.


Issawi Frej yelling at Minister Gilad Erdan (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Issawi Frej yelling at Minister Gilad Erdan (Photo: Gil Yohanan)




פרסום ראשון: 01.25.17, 16:09
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