Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party held a solidarity rally for its leader on Wednesday, amid ongoing probes into Netanyahu’s conduct.
“In the past few days, you have flooded us with more love and support than I can remember, and I have been here for a few years. I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Netanyahu told hundreds of supporters at the Tel Aviv Convention Center.
Israeli police are currently conducting two investigations relating to Netanyahu. The first case centers on gifts the Israeli leader allegedly received from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and others. The second case focuses on Netanyahu’s conversations with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes, in which they allegedly discussed a deal to have the Israeli newspaper soften its stance on Netanyahu in exchange for curtailing the activities of Israel Hayom, a competitor of Yedioth Ahronoth.
“I say to you, this is not for nothing, because they know that we win again and again in the elections. Because we brought the State of Israel to the best position in its history,” Netanyahu added.
Taking on a tone similar to that of US President Donald Trump, who is also facing critical media coverage and investigations into possible campaign collusion with Russia, Netanyahu slammed the Israeli media as “fake news media.”
“You remember that the fake news media slammed us in the past, saying that if we do not withdraw from the territories of the Israeli heartland, Israel would be isolated and abandoned. Do you remember their screams? Isolation, isolation, isolation,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu believes the media is trying to push law enforcement to bring charges against him.
“Their goal is to put pressure on law enforcement officials to file an indictment at all costs, regardless of truth and justice,” he said.
“It is hard for the left and the media who serve it to accept this, so they will produce endless affairs, endless stories and endless headlines, so maybe something will stick. If this doesn’t then it will be cigars. If not cigars then it’s conversations with a publisher. They demand from the law enforcement agencies, give us something — it doesn’t matter what,” he said.