Many of us are addicted to polls, which are fairly accurate. By calling early elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is racing his own indictment.1 There is no doubt that the Likud, even with a limping Netanyahu, weighed down by future indictments in three criminal cases ( Case 1000, 2000 and 4000) is destined to receive the most votes. “The voters, I think, understand exactly what we have done for Israel,” Netanyahu told lawmakers from his Likud party on Monday.2
The big question is whether he will be indicted before the elections or not. We should bear in mind that a prime minister suspected of felonies and about to receive an indictment should resign and not put himself up as a candidate for reelection let alone becoming prime minister for a fourth term. Apart from that, Netanyahu is doing all in his power to weaken the law courts, police, attacks the press and of course, the left for his predicament. He views it all as a witchhunt against him by his political opponents. Netanyahu is putting pressure on Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit so that he doesn’t dare to think of deciding to indict him, even subject to a hearing, before the election takes place. There are reports in the press that if Netanyahu is indicted before the elections, he will not resign. The Jerusalem Post has reported that the matter was not even discussed. So who must one believe? The election result will still be the same. The Likud will get the most votes even if Netanyahu is indicted before the elections. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is expected to receive the most votes in Israel's upcoming election, according to polls published by three main television stations on Tuesday. 3
Thugs even went into the Yarkon Cemetery, Petah Tiqva and vandalized the tombstone of Baruch Mandelblit, the father of the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. The thugs were not found. Likud election campaigns are not the most gentlemanly on earth. If their "king" is a suspected felon there are thuggish members, who are capable of carrying out acts against opponents.
Israel’s Electorate is swinging to the right and extreme right. Left-wing is a swear word. Netanyahu and his shenanigans have succeeded in ostracising and demonising the left. They will be viewed as enemies by many Israelis. It is a mindset that is becoming more popular in Israel. This will be his legacy even if he does resign because of his legal problems. The present government is the most divisive, hateful and racist government since Israel’s establishment. If only there was some hope of a change for the better but this will not happen. Netanyahu is viewed by many Israelis as the best prime minister that Israel has ever had. The cases against Netanyahu 4 will probably not affect the mindset of most Israelis, who have no problem in voting for a corrupt prime minister “who has done a lot for Israel and there is nobody worthy of replacing him” in their view.
Those of us who are left of centre in our ideology have nothing to look forward to after the elections. There will be no change. There is no true left-wing in Israel anymore. They are disunited, fragmented and weak generally. They have no common programme that can attract voters. These splintered left-wing groupings, who view themselves as an alternative to the present coalition have a mammoth task ahead of them in order to remain relevant in Israeli politics. The Zionist Camp views itself as mildly left of centre - God Forbid that they should be viewed as “left” which is close to heresy against the establishment and “favours Israel’s enemies”. The left-wing are walking around with their tails between their legs and have lost pride in their beliefs.
The upcoming general elections are a foregone conclusion. What is not is whether Netanyahu will or will not be indicted before the elections - that is the question. Netanyahu cannot be beaten easily. He will not give up. He changed his battery of defence lawyers as he knows that there is an indictment against him. He has taken on the best criminal lawyers that money can buy.
A recent development is the decision of former Chief-of-Staff of the IDF, Benny Gantz to enter politics and establish a new party called ‘Israel Resilience Party,’ amid reports he will team up with ex-defence minister Moshe Ya’alon. His party manifesto is unclear. However, he is a very popular figure and stands to get a lot of support. It is highly unlikely that he will have much influence on the outcome of the elections
The recent weeks have seen a flurry of developments in a number of criminal investigations involving Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. These developments fueled debates as to whether Netanyahu should continue serving as prime minister while facing criminal charges. Netanyahu has signalled that he has no intention of resigning. He attacked Israeli media and law enforcement for persecuting him and his family and peddling baseless allegations. His critics have argued that it would be unethical and irresponsible for the prime minister to continue running the government and making consequential decisions while juggling multiple criminal proceedings that could lead to a trial, and potentially a jail sentence.5
The government that will be elected will pass a law that prevents the prosecution of a prime minister in office.6 This may be the first weird law that will be passed by the future right-wing government that will be elected.7
- 26 Dec. 2018, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/israel-benjamin-netanyahu-ehud-barak-early-elections-likud.html. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
- 24 Dec. 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-politics/israel-to-hold-early-election-in-april-netanyahu-says-idUSKCN1ON0NP. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
- 26 Dec. 2018, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/polls-likud-would-win-election-despite-52-of-israelis-not-wanting-netanyahu-as-pm-1.6783579. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
- 25 Dec. 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-case-against-netanyahu-is-israel-about-to-reelect-a-corrupt-prime-minister/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
- "Indicting a Sitting Prime Minister: The Israeli Constitutional Framework ...." 2 Mar. 2018, https://www.lawfareblog.com/indicting-sitting-prime-minister-israeli-constitutional-framework. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
- "PM curbs bill that could save him from prosecution: 'There'll be no ...." 23 Oct. 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-curbs-bill-that-could-save-him-from-prosecution-therell-be-no-indictment/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
- Analysis: How Netanyahu Plans to Stay in Power and Beat Criminal Charges By Yossi Verter Dec 27, 2018 11:15 AM