The Bizzare Relationship of James Packer and Bejamin Netanyahu
James Packer’s life has been truly laid to bear over the past 18 months, with his casino Crown Resorts embattled in multiple scandals, and his personal portfolio of investments failing one by one, a lot has been reported on the Australian casino mogul over the course of this ride. Perhaps one of the most unexpected revelations to come out is the bizarre nature of Packer’s personal friendships with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amongst other members of the country’s political and business elite.
There have been few stories that have rocked the Australian casino business more than the Crown Resorts money laundering scandal, all of which happened under James Packer’s watch. The casino is accused of facilitating the activities of junket operators with known ties to money launderers in a blatant disregard for national casino regulation and business law. All of this has put the Crown Resorts empire under extreme financial and political pressure as they battle through the courts to try and salvage some remnants of the billion-dollar enterprise.
In a stunning revelation, the billionaire ex Crown Resorts chief James Packer has become a central fixture of the corruption investigation into the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to court documents related to the investigation, the pair had struck up a very unlikely friendship over the past few months. There are reports culminating that the Australian billionaire once kissed the feet of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The besieged James Packer is battling off allegations from all angles regarding his role in the path taken by Crown. But the latest revelations of his relationship with the Israeli elite have all emerged following the investigations against Benjamin Netanyahu. The court papers following the initial hearings put Packer at the center of the case against the Israeli PM. Surprising details have emerged such as his interest in converting to Judaism and the nickname assigned to him by Netanyahu, ‘James Bond’.
Benjamin Netanyahu Became James Packer’s Closest Confidant
Giving evidence in the trial against him, witnesses testifying against Benjamin Netanyahu have revealed at length the level of affection that existed between the two powerful men. Packer revealed to the Israeli premier that he was his greatest and dearest friend, and would confide all his trials and trepidations in Netanyahu. There was a seemingly unbreakable bond between the pair, and Packer introduced several of his ex-partners to Netanyahu, including supermodel Miranda Kerr, and pop star Mariah Carey.
But what Israeli investigators are trying to get to the bottom of is what the motivations of Benjamin Netanyahu were for forming this strange friendship with an Australian billionaire casino mogul. It’s said that Netanyahu was exploiting Packer for his own political and personal-financial benefit; seducing him to buy a property neighboring his own so that he could use it when the Australian was away, and asking him to buy out an Israeli newspaper that was heavily critical of Netanyahu’s leadership.
These nefarious deals along with a myriad of gifts presented to Benjamin Netanyahu from his dearest friend James Packer are at the center of the bribery and fraud case against the Israeli Prime Minister. Naturally, Netanyahu has come out defiantly and given evidence refuting the accusations against him, without giving much of an explanation as of yet, he has flat out denied ever acting with impropriety during his leadership.
Unfortunately for James Packer, the plans to buy out the critical newspaper fell through, and his relationship with the Israeli elite, including Mossad top-brass and other government officials, began to subside after that. Packer was put under immense pressure by the Netanyahu’s and was easily coerced by the couple into pursuing avenues that made no business sense to himself.
The coercion and back-room dealing that Netanyahu is so famous for have obviously spilled over into the friendship with James Packer. It does seem like the two men knew how to get the best out of the other, and when they worked in tandem, given their powerful connections, doors were easily opened.
James Packer Was Exploited By Benjamin Netanyahu
It was fairly obvious from the outset that James Packer was no match for one of the sharpest and calculating minds in global politics. That appears to be exactly why James Packer will come out of this looking extremely naïve. As for Benjamin Netanyahu, the optics couldn’t be much worse either, there are mounting calls in Israel for his immediate resignation. Unlike previous attempts to oust the Israeli leader, this campaign has serious bipartisan support.
James Packer was not unfamiliar with rubbing shoulders with heads of state and political titans. Ex British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Packer’s residence on occasion, and plenty of high-ranking Israeli officials lounged on Packer’s veranda and smoked expensive cigars whilst exchanging pleasantries and small-talk. But the façade built around these relationships only served a purpose, one orchestrated by Benjamin Netanyahu to solidify his own financial and political interests.
The mounting pressure around James Packer is growing, his casino Crown Resorts was refused a gaming license for its new $2.4 billion casino-hotel in Sydney, Barangaroo that was meant to become the centerpiece of the entire company. In court, evidence given by a former Israeli bureau chief Ari Harrow paints James Packer to be a man in dire-straights with a concerning mental and drinking state. Because of these facts, Packer is being pressured to liquidate his holdings in Crown Resorts and allow the company to re-invent itself away from his influence.