Netanyahu Leading in the Polls Despite Police Recommendations to Indict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the Muni World 2018 conference in Tel Aviv Israel

"The coalition is stable, and no one, me or anyone else, has plans to go to elections", he declared in Tel Aviv.

Just as President Donald Trump overcame the media and left-wing establishment to win the United States election despite his bluster and personal baggage, so too is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defying the odds in Israel.

In a statement given moments before police issued their official findings, he said: "I think about the good of the country not for personal reasons of the press, but only for the country, and nothing will stop me from doing this, not even the attacks against me, and believe me they're never ending". "I can say this is a slanted document, extreme, full of holes, like Swiss cheese, and holds no water".

In the so-called Case 1000, in which Mr. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian resort owner James Packer, the Indian Industrialist is also said to be a part of a project that Mr. Netanyahu tried to push forward to help Mr. Milchan.

Lapid's remarks Wednesday came the morning after Israeli police recommended Netanyahu be indicted on bribery and breach of trust charges in two cases. These police recommendations come in wake of an ongoing campaign by Netanyahu to discharge the credibility of his investigators. Netanyahu can remain in office during that process, which could drag on for months.

The development deals an embarrassing blow to the embattled prime minister and is likely to fuel calls for him to resign.

"Over the years, I have been the subject of at least 15 enquiries and investigations", Netanyahu said in the televised address, standing before four Israeli flags and appearing tense.

Despite the evidence against him, Mr Netanyahu is standing strong - for the time being.

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It is now up to Israel's attorney-general to decide whether to file charges.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, said that as long as Netanyahu was not convicted he should stay in office.

Police on Tuesday published their recommendations that Netanyahu be prosecuted for breach of trust, fraud and bribery in both of the corruption cases they have been investigating.

Avraham Diskin, a political science professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said none of Netanyahu's coalition partners had any incentive to rock the boat.

Police said in a statement that Netanyahu had accepted gifts valued at 750,000 shekels ($214,000) from billionaire film producer Arnon Milchan, and that in exchange, Netanyahu operated on Milchan's behalf on U.S. visa matters and helped Milchan with the Israeli media market.

In addition, Mr Netanyahu's most important political rival, and his former minister of finance, has agreed to testify against his former boss about the shady laws he was allegedly pressured to formulate but refused to pass.

Navit Negev and Iris Niv-Sabag, lawyers for Mozes, said in a statement: "Noni Mozes has strong legal arguments in his favour, and we believe that after an additional examination of the evidence by the prosecutor's office the case against him will be closed and it will become clear that he committed no crime".


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