Donald Trump may feel like he’s the only world leader who is under investigation. In fact, he has tweeted constantly about unfairly he has been treated:
This is just a sampling of Trump’s “poor pitiful me” tweets. However, Trump is not alone in facing investigations into corruption in his administration. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest serving prime minister since David Ben-Gurion also faces potential charges of bribery and corruption.
The New York Times published an article over the weekend describing Netanyahu’s current political woes. The Times reports that he is “suspected of bribery, as well as fraud and breach of trust.” It certainly does not bode well for Bibi, as he known, that the “Israeli police signed a state’s witness deal with Ari Harrow, Mr. Netanyahu’s former chief of staff and once one of his closest confidants.”
That would be the equivalent of someone like, maybe, General Michael Flynn agreeing to provide all the information he knows about the Trump-Russia ties to Robert Mueller. Or Paul Manafort doing the same. All of which is within the current realm of possibility for Trump.
Unlike the United States, Israel does not have a mechanism for removing a prime minister from power, even if indicted. But the Times states that should that happen, the political pressure for Netanyahu to resign would be overwhelming. Much like his counterpart Trump, Netanyahu is known as a political fighter. He “dismissed the latest legal developments as ‘background noise’ on his Sabbath Facebook post last week.
Other democracies around the world have faced similar challenges in the last year. The President of Brazil, Dilma Rouseff was suspended after the Brazilian Senate voted in favor of suspending her. Now the Acting President Michel Temer, who was instrumental in the impeachment proceedings, is also facing calls for his resignation.
In South Korea a corruption scandal that resulted in hundreds of thousands of South Koreans taking to the streets in protest, led to President Park Gueun-hye, the first female president being removed from office by a South Korean court in March of this year. She was arrested three weeks later in a corruption probe.
However, Donald Trump should be much more concerned about the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu, as Israel is more closely aligned in values and government with the United States. And Trump is facing far more serious charges. The charge that Russia interfered in the 2016 election has been accepted by everyone except for Trump and his inner circle. Should Special Counsel Robert Mueller uncover evidence that the Trump campaign, and possibly Trump himself, worked with the Russians then impeachment would become “when” not “if.” The same applies to the charge of obstruction of justice by Trump in trying to hinder the investigation into his campaign activities. Corruption charges may also come out of Mueller’s investigation as well.
It appears that Bibi and Donnie have something else in common, beside ongoing investigations into their administrations. The New York Times article states the following about Netanyahu’s son Yair:
“Critics of the Netanyahu’s have long portrayed Yair, 25, as a spoiled heir apparent who still lives with his parents in the official residence and lives lavishly at the taxpayers’ expense. When he was out walking with Kaya, the family dog, late last month, a woman from the neighborhood asked him to pick up his dog’s waste. He responded, according to the woman and a witness, with an obscene gesture.”
As the saying goes, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.