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Monday, 01 August 2016 10:46

The new york times: Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu,

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JERUSALEM — He and his family have been accused of improprieties as strange as trying to palm off their used lawn furniture to the prime minister’s residence, and as serious as pocketing illegal contributions from foreign donors.

And in recent weeks, leaks of allegations and investigations large and small have gradually dripped out in Israel’s competitive media caldron, with the attorney general announcing a new and potentially damaging inquiry last month.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been cleared of some of the claims that have dogged him for decades, but other investigations have yet to reach a conclusion. On Thursday, the news site Ynet reported that the attorney general, who until February was Mr. Netanyahu’s cabinet secretary, said he would not ease up on his former boss.

None of this has escaped the attention of enemies or allies, but amid all the noise, Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly proved to be a politician able to cut through potential scandal with Teflon-coated ease.

“I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t move uncomfortably in my chair when I see the news,” said Eyal Sevilla, 41, a Netanyahu fan who sells cheese, fish, snacks and pickled goods in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market.

Unless some of the major allegations stick, though, Mr. Sevilla said, “I think the prime minister is very wonderful.”

Mr. Netanyahu, who first served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and returned to office in 2009, is now in his fourth term, after prevailing in a bitter and divisive election campaign last year.

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The reasons Mr. Netanyahu has been able to maintain his magic act, analysts say, are many. He has had no formidable opponent for years. He draws support by stoking Israeli Jews’ security fears. And, as the number of disputed allegations mounts, the public may be tuning them out, buying the prime minister’s argument that opponents in a partisan media landscape are out to get him.

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