Israelis hold anti-corruption protest amid new scandal involving PM family




Thousands of Israelis have held another anti-corruption demonstration in Tel Aviv, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign days after the release of an audiotape, in which the premier’s son is heard bragging about his father’s role in a shady gas deal.

Protesters took to the streets for a seventh consecutive week on Saturday, chanting slogans against the premier such as, “Shame” “Bibi go home,” “Corruption is going to be broken,” and “a corrupt government of corrupt tycoons.”

They also waved banners and signs, reading, “Brothers in the war against the corrupt,” “Out with the corrupt!” and “Not leftist, not rightist, but honest!”

Similar anti-graft protests were held Saturday in other cities, including in Haifa and Afula.

During the Tel Aviv event, minor scuffles erupted between anti-regime demonstrators and right-wing Israelis attending a counter protest.

This came less than a week after Israel’s Channel 2 television aired a 2015 secret recording from outside a strip club, where Netanyahu’s elder son, Yair, is heard making disparaging comments about women and trying to persuade gas tycoon Kobi Maimon’s son Ori to lend him money.

“My dad arranged $20bn for your dad – you can give me 400 shekels ($116),” Yair said.

After the tape was broadcast, Netanyahu’s son issued a statement complaining it had been obtained illegally but apologizing for his comments.

Menny Naftali, an organizer of the Tel Aviv demonstration, criticized the Israeli prime minister over the secret recording.

“I have pity on these kids. The education you [Netanyahu] gave your children is what you are doing to this nation,” he told Haaretz.

Netnyahu is himself suspected of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

He has been questioned in two separate cases, involving allegations that he received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen and negotiated a deal with a newspaper owner for more favorable coverage. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Another bribery scandal, called the “submarine affair,” also involves Netanyahu associates.

Source: Website