Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently facing an indictment for allegedly spending over $100,000 of taxpayer money on catered chef’s meals and lavish parties in violation of the existing regulations.
These accusations add to a long list of corruption scandals and allegations involving the Israeli prime minister and those close to him.
Champagne and Cigars
Case number 1000 deals with claims that Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife received expensive gifts from Israeli billionaire and Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan, the producer of Pretty Woman and Fight Club, including pricey champagne, cigars and jewelry. Meanwhile, Australian billionaire James Packer allegedly courted Netanyahu’s son Yair by covering his travel expenses, including flights and hotel rooms.
Case 2000 is a probe into allegations that Netanyahu may have expressed interest in obtaining favorable coverage from the Yedioth Ahronoth, a newspaper that actively criticized him, by sabotaging its rival daily Israel Hayom – a newspaper where the prime minister has allegedly enjoyed considerable clout.
Miki Ganor, a retired naval captain who acted as a representative of the German industrial firm in Israel and who turned state witness in this case, has allegedly bribed high-ranking Israeli officials to ensure that his client would get the deal.
While Prime Minister Netanyahu wasn’t directly named as a suspect in this case, the accusations are being levelled against several people who have close ties to him, including his lawyer and cousin David Shimron and former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef.
The case known as the ‘Bezeq affair’, or Case 4000, deals with allegations about Shlomo Filber, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Communications and former aide to Netanyahu, providing the telecommunications company Bezeq with confidential information that helped further the latter’s interests.
The report filed by the State Comptroller of Israel also stated that Prime Minister Netanyahu originally withheld information about his close friendship with Shaul Elovitz, the controlling shareholder in Bezeq, which may have led to a possible conflict of interests.
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the Hebrew-language newspaper Ma’ariv revealed that 48 percent of Israelis believe that Netanyahu is corrupt, with 38 percent of respondents opposing such claims.