Education Minister Naftali Bennett today referred to the police recommendation to indict Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the "Case 1000" and "Case 2000" investigations, involving allegations of gifts from wealthy businessmen and collusion with a newspaper publisher.
Bennett spoke at the Local Government Conference and said, "As a member of two Netanyahu governments, I can testify that the Prime Minister runs affairs of state in a proper and competent manner... and I have no doubt that he would never harm Israel's security for a foreign cause."
"Some claim the Prime Minister can't manage the country under the stress of investigations, but I don't see this," he said.
"But the Prime Minister in Israel has another mission, which is to serve as a personal example for the Israeli public in general, and for Israeli youth in particular."
Bennett says "The Prime Minister isn't required to be perfect or to live as an ascetic, but he has to be someone who says, 'This is the way to behave.' Unfortunately, receiving gifts on such a large scale for so long doesn't meet this expectation of the citizens of Israel."
"The leader of the Jewish State simply should not accept such gifts from billionaires. That's not how to educate a young generation on values, and that's not how we were educated."
However, the Education Minister stressed, "We are a country run by law, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has a presumption of innocence. In light of this, I decided to wait until the decision of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. I trust the integrity and resilience of the advisor and his team. As for the values aspect, the public will decide that on election day.
"The State of Israel is not a corrupt state, and we'll continue to work for the citizens of Israel in running affairs of state, activity that isn't dependent on one person or another, because we have no other country."