By: Philip | 03-05-2018 | News
Photo credit: Credit: Ha'aretz

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets Trump And AIPAC Amidst Storms Brewing Back Home

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington Sunday to meet with President Donald Trump and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Netanyahu will be in the US for 5 days while he meets with Trump and AIPAC, the AIPAC conference is slated to last three days, ending on Tuesday. One major topic on the agenda will be plans to fight the growing Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement as well as Iran and U.S. military support for Israel.

As this is going on, a third confidante of Netanyahu has turned state's witnesses and this will be the second case of recorded evidence of supposed bribery and fraud related to cases the prime minister is facing in Israel. Recently Israeli police recommended indicting Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud, corruption and more related to four separte cases he's facing each with multiple charges. Palestinian protestors outside the AIPAC conference. Palestinian officials who had spoke to Ha'aretz fear that Netanyahu is planning to publish his peace talk plans and will be pressuring President Trump to support them.

Meanwhile, the concerns facing the prime minister will likely have little effect on AIPAC support for Netanyahu, according to Ha'aretz:

<blockquote>Pro-Israel activists may worry about how Netanyahu’s legal woes will shape the Jewish state’s politics in the future but, for the moment, they’ll be sticking by him for the same reasons most are still firmly in the camp of President Donald Trump: They see no viable alternatives and they don’t trust his enemies.</blockquote>

Netanyahu's visit is also fueling fears in Israel that he may dissolve the Knesset (Israeli legislative body) and <a href="">possibly move to advance the upcoming 2019 elections as early as this June</a> in advance of his being charged by the Attorney General. Some signs of this are his catering to the ultra-Orthodox political parties while building his coalition. Previously, Netanyahu had angered Hassidic groups when he supported legislature that would not allow Hassids to escape conscription into the military despite religious objections.

While all this is going on, Nir Hefetz, "Netanyahu's Rasputin" and spin doctor supreme becomes the third confidante recently to turn state's witness. He will hand over recordings related to Netanyahu and wife Sara as part of a plea deal related to the bribery and corruption charges involving the Walla news site owned by the Israeli telecom giant Bezeq. The Walla/Bezeq issue is only one case of Netanyahu purportedly skewing the media to his advantage. Hefetz will not stand trial in return for his testimony and evidence offered, neither will he face prison time or fines. He is being held in protective custody currently in an isolated installation while he testifies.

While troubles swirl and storm clouds brew, Netanyahu has met with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, personally thanked the president of Guatemala for moving its embassy to Jerusalem as well as meeting with representatives Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell (a sign that AIPAC's call for "bipartisan support" for Israel is a continued guarantee). Another surprise guest at AIPAC is a model "Iron Dome" system that was set up in the AIPAC village meeting grounds. Despite all the hullaballoo some Ha'aretz writers argue that "Trump-Netanyahu get-together is a collision of bad karmas."


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