It is hard to dissociate oneself from a general impression that the rapid developments of investigations into suspicions of corruption, which involve Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have tightened the grip on, and sent a strong signal of the beginning of the end of his political career. A major portion of this issue of the Israeli Scene is dedicated to tackling this issue. Perhaps the most notable is the strong signal of the former
media advisor to Netanyahu family, Nir Hefetz, who has turned into a “state’s witness” against Netanyahu. In addition, according to information leaked by sources with access to the investigations, suspicions against Netanyahu in the case known in the media as Case 4000 are more serious than those imputed to him in Cases 1000 and 2000.
Until more facts unfold, the following needs to be highlighted:
Since the investigation with Netanyahu was launched, more attention was paid to gifts received from businesses men in violation of the law. In return, these businesses men would be granted privileges that serve their interests. Recently, however, the focus has been on Netanyahu’s unrelenting attempts to exercise almost absolute control over Israeli media outlets with a view to manipulating media discourse regarding his personal performance. Accordingly, such discourse would not deviate from providing a “positive coverage” of Netanyahu and members of his family. Netanyahu has sought to make all competing media outlets, which cover political and other news, align to him.
What has been, and what is anticipated to be, revealed in this case may shed more light on the so-called “process of castrating the media establishment in Israel.” In the same context, caution needs to be exercised against considering the majority of media outlets in Israel as entirely independent. This is particularly the case of Israel’s public policy and position towards the Palestinians and Arabs.
On the Israeli level, what the beginning of the end of Netanyahu’s political career can mean is another issue, which needs to be addressed later.