Zionist Union quotes Netanyahu in massive billboard urging him to quit
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Zionist Union quotes Netanyahu in massive billboard urging him to quit

Poster hanging over Tel Aviv highway cites PM, now accused by police of corruption, telling Olmert to resign under similar circumstances in 2008

A Zionist Union billboard calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign in the face of police corruption allegations, pictured on a Tel Aviv highway, February 15, 2017. (Courtesy)
A Zionist Union billboard calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign in the face of police corruption allegations, pictured on a Tel Aviv highway, February 15, 2017. (Courtesy)

The Knesset’s largest opposition faction, the Zionist Union, on Thursday targeted motorists in its effort to drive home the message that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resign following police recommendations that he be indicted for corruption.

A huge billboard over the main Tel Aviv highway quoted Netanyahu himself, who said in 2008 that “a prime minister who is neck-deep in investigations has no public or moral mandate to make crucial decisions… the right thing to do is for the government to go home.”

Netanyahu made the comments in reference to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister at the time, who was under investigation for multiple cases of suspected corruption.

In a post on Twitter, Zionist Union head Avi Gabbay said, “Netanyahu won’t escape responsibility and won’t be able to elude shame. The police recommendations are severe and Netanyahu has lost the public mandate to lead Israel. Millions of drivers who pass the billboard we put up this morning want Netanyahu to resign from his post and for Israel to again be a country that is clean of corruption and led by new, honest leaders.”

Olmert, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, was released from prison on July 2, 2017, after serving 16.5 months of a 19-month sentence for breach of trust and bribery in two separate corruption convictions.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks during a conference in Tel Aviv, on February 7, 2018. (Flash90)

On Tuesday, police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted in two investigations, known as cases 1000 and 2000.

In Case 1000, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are alleged to have received illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, most notably the Israeli-born mogul Milchan, totalling NIS 1 million ($282,000). In return, Netanyahu is alleged by police to have intervened on Milchan’s behalf in matters relating to legislation, business dealings and visa arrangements.

Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister weaken a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

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