The campaign for Israel’s March elections is just picking up pace, and a major party, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, is reeling from announcing of a major bribery and corruption scandal involving a number of top officials.
Israeli police have detained some 30 officials past and present from the party, many of them with connections to the party’s top leadership. The party claims the effort is political in nature, and trying to hurt them before the vote.
But the evidence for corruption seems strong, and Lieberman’s claims he is “unaware” that there is even an investigation doesn’t seem to hold water.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing probes of his own, within his party, and Likud’s comptroller has disqualified the PM from running for the Likud leadership because of misuse of party funds.
Netanyahu has been facing internal opposition in Likud from the far-right, and assuming the comptroller’s ruling stands, he may well be finished as a top leader in the party.