Netanyahu joins 'fake news' bandwagon with jab at media

Netanyahu joins 'fake news' bandwagon with jab at media
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accused Israeli media of peddling 'fake news', echoing US President Donald Trump's attacks on unfavourable coverage.
2 min read
31 August, 2017
Binyamin Netanyahu has been questioned in two separate corruption cases [Israel GPO]

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accused media outlets in the country of plotting his downfall, slamming the "fake news industry" for overplaying corruption allegations against him.

Netanyahu, who has been serving his second stint as prime minister since 1999, has been questioned in two corruption cases by Israeli authorities.

"The 'fake news' industry has reached a record level. The aim is to secure indictments, at whatever price and quickly, against me," he said at a gathering of his supporters Wednesday.

In one case, the prime minister
is alleged to have improperly accepted gifts from wealthy donors, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

The second case, dubbed "File 2000,'' concerns Netanyahu's alleged dealings with Arnon Moses, publisher of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group, to gain more favourable coverage in exchange for introducing laws that will clamp down on the media outlet's competitors.

Netanyahu has denied all wrongdoing, however, has faced mounting pressure after an ex-chief-of-staff agreed to stand as a state witness.

In using the term "fake news", the Israeli leader has echoed a term coined by the campaign team of US President Donald Trump.

Trump, who has faced a barrage of criticism from media outlets alleging that he has had improper dealings with Russia, has launched numerous attacks on major media outlets for perceived bias against his administration.