Over the course of his career, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, has faced many formidable rivals. There’s been Yasser Arafat, the late former leader of the Palestinians, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah. But Netanyahu never accused any of them of leading a “Bolshevik campaign” to derail his agenda and kick him out of office. The only man to receive such praise from Netanyahu is Arnon “Noni” Mozes, the owner and publisher of Yediot Aharonot, which means “latest news” in Hebrew. Since the 1990s, Mozes’s popular tabloid, which his family founded in 1939, has been a constant nuisance for the prime minister, regularly featuring negative coverage about the Netanyahus. (Behind closed doors, Netanyahu has reportedly referred to Mozes as “Voldemort.”)
This is why many Israelis were shocked to learn early last year that Netanyahu and Mozes were under investigation for allegedly concocting a secret bribe deal. Last week, the police concluded their investigation, recommending that Israel’s attorney general indict both Mozes and Netanyahu for bribery. This investigation is one of three different cases involving Netanyahu, all of which include suspicions for bribery, and eyebrow-raising relationships between the prime minister and powerful media tycoons. The police also recommended indicting him in a separate corruption investigation involving Arnon Milchan, an Israeli billionaire and Hollywood producer who allegedly gave Netanyahu and his family expensive gifts worth more than $200,000 over the last decade. Netanyahu claimed that Milchan gave the gifts not as part of some secret quid-pro-quo, but, rather, because they are friends.