Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon threatens to “tell all” on Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged corruption if the prime minister is not indicted in the three corruption probes he or his associates are currently being investigated for.
“I knew about previous prime ministers that were corrupt for their own benefit, but it’s a completely different thing when a prime minister jeopardizes the interest of the country for his gain,” Ya’alon tells an interview on Channel 2.
Ya’alon — ousted as defense minister last year in part over disagreements with Netanyahu over the so-called submarine scandal, in which the prime minister’s personal lawyer allegedly swayed multi-billion shekel deals in favor of the German shipbuilder he represented in Israel — recently gave testimony in the probe known as “Case 3000” over his knowledge over efforts to purchase naval vessels from the German company ThyssenKrupp.
Police have opened an criminal investigation into the affair, but have stressed that the prime minister is not a suspect.
Netanyahu is however a criminal suspect in two other ongoing formal police investigations.
In “Case 1000,” police are investigating allegations that a number of businessmen gave lucrative gifts to Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, over his years in office. Police are also investigating another case, known as “Case 2000,” in which Netanyahu is believed to have offered the publisher of Israel’s biggest-selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth to reduce the impact of Yedioth’s pro-Netanyahu rival, Israel Hayom, in exchange for more favorable coverage. He denies any wrongdoing.
Asked if he thought the prime minister was guilty of corruption, Ya’alon said: “I have absolutely no doubt, no doubt what so over.”
He continued: “If he is not indicted, I will go on a speaking tour to tell all. I will reveal everything.”
Responding to the interview, sources close to the prime minister told Channel 2 news: “[Ya’alon’s] statements are utter garbage and completely void. His brazen lies will soon be exposed as such. It need not even been stated that the Justice Ministry published an official statement, in accordance with the state prosecutor and the attorney general, that the prime minister is not suspected of anything in ‘Case 3000.’ [Ya’alon] would be well advised to find another way for him to pass the electoral threshold.”
Ya’alon has announced that he will form his own political party to challenge Netanyahu’s Likud.