Netanyahu Indicted: Israel’s Longest-Serving Prime Minister Is Charged With Fraud, Bribery and Breach of Trust

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the media on Nov. 12, 2019. On Nov. 21, he was formally charged by Israel's attorney general in a corruption scandal. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images)

November 21, 2019
by
Patrice Taddonio Digital Writer & Audience Development Strategist, FRONTLINE

Israel’s attorney general on Thursday indicted the country’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on breach of trust, fraud, and bribery charges.

The indictment followed a nearly three-year investigation into allegations that Netanyahu took political actions that would benefit two individual media companies in exchange for favorable coverage from them, and that he received high-end items in a swap for carrying out other political favors. Netanyahu has consistently denied the allegations, decrying them as part of a “witch hunt.”

Netanyahu has long been one of the most polarizing political leaders on the world stage, with his hardline politics on Iran and Israeli-Palestinian affairs having won him both intense support and bitter criticism at home and abroad.

In the 2016 documentary Netanyahu at War, FRONTLINE examined Netanyahu’s path to power and the events that shaped his worldview. The two-hour documentary from veteran filmmaker Michael Kirk went inside Netanyahu’s combative relationships with multiple U.S. presidents, and explored the implications for America and the Middle East.

Drawing on more than 30 interviews with Netanyahu’s advisers; top Israeli, American and Palestinian officials; foreign policy analysts, authors and journalists, this two-hour special gave a comprehensive look at Netanyahu’s political trajectory — from his time as a young student in America, to his formative experiences in the Israeli military, to allegations that his rhetoric fueled right-wing anger that led to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, to his fraught relationship with former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Stream Netanyahu at War to understand how Netanyahu came to be Israel’s longest-serving prime minister:

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