The Framing of Bibi
This week, riot police had to save Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She was being held hostage in a hair salon by leftist mobs outside who were protesting against judicial reform in Israel. But, unfortunately, the leftist extremists’ wild, over-the-top claims and behaviors are not a one-time thing when they try to get rid of the Netanyahus.
Since Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu became Israel’s prime minister in 1996, the left has been trying to discredit him and his government in order to get rid of them and put in place their liberal ruling base. Since the disastrous surprise attack of the Yom Kippur War and the waves of terrorism, Jihadist attacks, and Intifadas that followed, most Israelis have moved to the right and follow the “peace through strength” philosophy. Thus, the left has been having a hard time actually winning votes, and instead it has turned to an endless series of phony accusations of corruption and mismanagement to try and turn the tide on their political opponents.
Yet, in virtually every allegation against Netanyahu, no matter how many thousands of hours were spent searching, investigating, and questioning Bibi, it was found that the accusations against him were made up, “smoke and mirrors,” and more “fake news.” This is like Russia-Gate, which was a scandal involving former U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia. After a thorough investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Trump and Russia did not work together.
Currently, the leftists in Israel, angry again about losing the recent elections, are making all sorts of exaggerated and phony claims against Bibi, this time in the context of the pending judicial overhaul that would remove their liberal stranglehold on the court system and instead bring it more in line with the democratic version of the United States, where the President nominates justices.
In light of the radical left’s latest accusations and chants of “Crime Minister” against Bibi, here is a list of no less than a dozen claims made against Bibi over the past 20 years, ranging from the ridiculous to the absurd. All of these allegations so far have been found to be without merit and thus are ostensibly politically motivated versions of ridiculous “bubba maisa” (old wives tales):
|1999||Movers Affair||An inflated moving bill covered earlier private moving expenses.||The bill was not paid, and the mover was found to have previously overcharged clients.|
|1999||Gifts Affair||Official government gifts in Netanyahu’s belongings||None were found.|
|2001||Baron-Hebron Affair||He intended to appoint Ronnie Baron as Attorney General in exchange for voting for a deal on Hebron.||The case was closed.|
|2011||Bibi Tours Affair||Double-billing travel expenditures||The case was closed.|
|2013||Pistachio Affair||Buying too much pistachio ice cream||The accusation was dropped.|
|2013||Laundry Affair||Ordering excessive laundry and dry cleaning including for underwear||The case was closed, and the appellants were fined for court costs.|
|2015||Garden Furniture Affair||Relocating three garden chairs to a private home||Chairs were found to have been bought by Netanyahu.|
|2018||Meal Tray Affair||They ordered meals from a restaurant instead of using in-house cooks.||NGO petitioned to increase the fine on Sara Netanyahu, and the court threw it out and fined the NGO.|
|Instructed the IDF to purchase submarines from Thyssen-Krupp to benefit his cousin’s company.||Netanyahu is not a suspect.|
|2019||Case 1000||He received cigars and champagne from a friend.||Cases are pending.|
|2019||Case 2000||Graft for press coverage|
|2019||Case 4000||Graft for press coverage|
In Benjamin Netanyahu’s book, Bibi: My Story, he lays out four reasons why he believes the left has so vehemently continued to attack him over the years. First, other strong leaders on the right have been similarly vilified, with Jabotinsky being called “Vladamir Hitler” and Begin being defamed as a “fascist.” Second, Bibi was the leader of the opposition when Rabin was assassinated, and so the left blames him for fomenting the murder and killing the peace deal with the Palestinians. Third, Netanyahu’s long rule of more than 15 years has destroyed the left’s hopes of restoring their power anytime soon. Fourth, Israeli society has become more divided, just like American society has. The Internet and social media have fueled this and, in many cases, brought it to a boil.
Despite all the charges brought over the many years against Netayahu, none of which have stuck, what stands out from Bibi’s biography is that in 2017, a candidate for the Labor Party Knesset list was caught on a hot mic stating:
You want to take down Bibi? It will be difficult to take him down in elections… You want to bring him down? Let’s bring him down through corruption.
In another case, in 2022, a witness whose phone was illegally hacked testified in court that police investigators told him to “think of his wife and children,” and effectively, he was instructed to “bring us Bibi’s head.”
While no politician, especially one who has been in office for nearly two decades, is going to be found squeaky clean, I do believe that overall the Netanyahus are fundamentally good people who have served selflessly for the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and their “reward” has been to suffer the relentless anger and aggression of the left for losing the majority vote and their power. I think in America, we call this being “sore losers.”
In modern Israeli politics, the alt-left is getting stuck on a platform of hatred and ridiculing the other side. They revert to “grasping at straws,” making phony allegations (like the age-old false blood libels against the Jews), to try to get rid of their opponents. This makes them look and sound like they don’t have any new or powerful ideas for building the economy, making peace (with security), or building the future of the state. The sensible people on the left should work together with the right to solve problems instead of trying to make yet another desperate, false accusation.
I will give the final word on this matter to the Rebbe, whose message and blessing to Netanyahu already in 1984 on his way to the United Nations, and subsequently to the Knesset and as Prime Minister of Israel, was as follows:
You are going to the House of Lies. Remember, that even in a hall of total darkness, if you light just one candle, its precious light will be seen far and wide. You will light that candle of truth for the People of Israel!