Netanyahu in Knesset
Netanyahu in KnessetJonathan Sindel, Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed Wednesday the investigations which he is involved in during a one hour "question and answer session" in the Knesset.

At the end of the session Netanyahu said that "I have heard a number of things here about contacts, about the dissolution of the government, I heard the mocking and the cynicism. What a carnival of hypocrisy and self-righteousness."

Netanyahu explained that the law against Israel Hayom was an attempt to ruin the only national level right-wing newspaper, the largest media outlet not controlled by the left wing and said "I fought against this with all my might and indeed only ten MKS voted for this unjust law. Just a few years later another proposal came whose goal was to close Israel Hayom and I strongly opposed this one as well - this is my opinion."

Netanyahu added that that proposal had been deemed unconstitutional by the Knesset legal advisor but Justice Minister Tzipi Livni still tried to pass the law. At this stage he intervened to prevent the passing of the law in the ministerial committee. Yet despite all his efforts, the proposal was brought to the Knesset for a preliminary reading and 43 MKs supported it.

Netanyahu said that he saw this as an attempt to undermine his own authority "since it would shut the mouth of the only media outlet which did not identify with the 'clique' of journalists and would strangle a variety of views which is an essential component of democracy. When I saw that they were undermining me in this and other matters, I decided to dissolve the government," added Netanyahu.

Netanyahu added that during the course of the elections and after them, he and his family suffered terrible daily threats from the Yediot Aharonot newspaper for insisting during the coalition negotiations that such a law could not be brought without his affirmation. "Nobody fought the law against Israel Hayom more than me and I did this for the sake of freedom of speech, pluralism, variety. I have to say to the leaders sitting here and those not here, nobody else fought for it. And me they investigate?Me they accuse? It's a bad joke," concluded Netanyahu.

Netanyahu added that the investigation regarding presents was also superfluous. "It is permitted to receive presents so they distort the law. One rule for Netanyahu and another for all the rest. Anyone can see that there is an unprecedented campaign of hounding and chasing, of hypocrisy and pressure tactics. The goal is to change governments by applying media pressure to the Attorney-General so that he will press charges at all costs."

"The media, the analysts, the politicians try and try again, they work and work hoping that at some point the pressure will tell. After they finish all of their investigations they will have to get something to mollify them. Some indictment, as long as somebody tries to placate them. That's their plan," concluded Netanyahu, who said he does not intend to go anywhere at present.