Prime Minister Netanyahu came out swinging in the aftermath of police recommendations to indict him on two counts of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, defiantly saying he would not resign and predicting that he would be re-elected for a fifth term as prime minister towards the end of 2019.
In a televised speech to the nation, Netanyahu repeated his long-standing insistence that “nothing is going to come of this, because nothing happened,” and said he would continue to work to secure the country’s future.
“I believe this government will go the distance,” he said. “I and our terrific ministers will continue to work to make Israel into a global military, economic and technological superpower.
Netanyahu also repeated the accusation that a “heavy cloud” hangs over the investigation as a result of accusations by Police Chief Roni Alsheich in recent weeks that unnamed individuals tried to intimidate police investigators, and stressed that he has often been the subject of corruption allegations since first becoming prime minister in 1996 – and has been exonerated every time.
“That’s why you – the people of this country – have elected me, again and again,” Netanyahu said.
Addressing the charges at hand, the prime minister said the facts of each case illustrated the opposite of the allegations against him because he acted against the interests of the individuals – Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Yedioth Acharonoth publisher Noni Moses – that he is accused of colluding with.
“All of those times began – like tonight – with huge media headlines. And like those times, I am telling you: This time, too, nothing will come out of all this,” he said.