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Netanyahu’s real crime: Plundering land for settlers

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might be indicted for receiving gifts from businessmen, but he will not be indicted for giving the gift of Palestinian land to settlers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara attend an inauguration ceremony for a fortified emergency room at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, southern Israel, February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RC19962A8910
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In response to the Feb. 13 police announcement of sufficient evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery and breach of trust, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Receiving gifts so extensively for so long does not meet the expectations of the citizenry of the State of Israel.” Polls conducted since then suggest that Bennett is wrong. According to a survey by the pollster Yossi Sarid for Reshet TV, although only 29% of Israelis surveyed believe the prime minister is innocent, more Israelis want him to stay in office than want him to resign or take time off, 49% versus 43% respectively.

An advance copy of Bennett’s speech distributed to reporters accused Netanyahu of accepting gifts from billionaires. “This is not the way to instill values in the young generation, and this is not the way we were taught,” it read. When delivering his speech, Bennett omitted this sentence. Successive Israeli governments, chief among them the current Netanyahu-Bennett government, have taught the country’s young Jewish citizenry that taking “gifts” consisting of tens of thousands of acres snatched from under destitute Palestinian shepherds and cave dwellers is nothing short of a national-religious-historical mission.

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