Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed the media at a Likud rally on Wednesday night, saying the “fake news industry” was behind efforts to oust him from office with false accusations of corruption.
“The fake news industry is at its peak,” he told the crowd of about 2,500 Likud supporters. The gathering, which took place near Ben Gurion Airport, is held annually before the Jewish holidays to “toast” and bless the upcoming new year.
The left-wing media, Netanyahu said, “simply [does] not want Israeli citizens to see success. It just does not fit their narrative.”
He condemned media coverage of ongoing weekly protests outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit by activists calling for the prime minister to be indicted on charges of corruption.
“The goal of the protests is to indict me at any cost,” he said. “They cover enthusiastically [and] without end the left-wing protests every week. The same protests whose goal is to apply improper pressure in order that an indictment will be filed at any cost.”
According to the protesters, he continued, “‘Netanyahu is guilty until proven innocent.’”
“They despise the choice of the people and they despise the democracy in whose name they protest,” he accused.
“They are doing everything possible to harm me and my wife because they think that if they topple me and her they will topple us, the Likud, the national camp — and to this end, all means are kosher.”
The prime minister denounces left-wing journalists for unfairly representing information and sources by showing only one side of the story.
“The one-sided media spoils [critics and accusers] with endless caressing interviews. No journalist asks them about their past,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu is currently under investigation on two corruption charges. In the first, he and his wife Sara are suspected of receiving gifts from benefactors, including expensive cigars and champagne. The second charge involves a “quid pro quo” deal between Netanyahu and the publisher of Yedidot Ahronoth, a newspaper critical of the government, which would have led to more positive coverage from the paper.