Netanyahu Answers

Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in the Prime Minister House in Jerusalem on February 28, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In his initial response to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s announcement of bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges against him pending a hearing, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu repeated that he is completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

In a press conference on Thursday night, he alleged that he is the victim of ‘an unprecedented witch hunt and relentless pressure on Mandelblit to indict him while not letting him respond to the “vile charges” before the April elections.

“Rest assured, I will refute all the allegations from start to finish,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister cited U.S. President Donald Trump’s praise for him earlier in the day, and asserted that his ties with foreign leaders are unparalleled and that the indictment is part of a plan to topple his government.

Netanyahu also returned to the theme of a double standard. “What about Yair Lapid? He received many gifts?” Netanyahu said, citing what he claimed were similar circumstances to his own Case 1000 investigation. “There is one law for Netanyahu, and another for everyone else.”

Netanyahu claimed that after a decade in office, the Left believed that the only way it could remove him from power was through false legal charges, not the democratic process.

“We transformed Israel into a rising world power, and we did it without compromises.”

“The Left knows that with these accomplishments they could never defeat us at the polls. So they made a political witch hunt for the past three years, an unprecedented witch hunt with a single goal – to topple the right-wing government and to install the party of Lapid and Gantz to power.”