Netanyahu to become 1st serving Israel PM facing criminal charges

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The long-awaited corruption trial of Benjamin Netanyahu is due to open in Jerusalem, where he will become the first serving Israeli prime minister to face criminal prosecution.

Netanyahu is required to appear for Sunday’s session in Jerusalem District Court, a week after he was sworn in to a record fifth term as head of a unity government, ending more than a year of political deadlock in the wake of three inconclusive elections.

In the most serious case, he is accused of promoting legislation that delivered hundreds of millions of dollars of profits to the owner of a major telecom company while wielding behind-the-scenes editorial influence over the firm’s popular news website.

Netanyahu protest - against
Protesters demonstrate against Netanyahu just before his corruption trial opens.
Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, denies all charges. He has cast his prosecution as a left-wing witch-hunt meant to overthrow a popular right-wing leader.

As prime minister, Netanyahu is under no legal obligation to resign and he has said his court battle will not affect his ability to do his job.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said the opening of the trial on Sunday was mostly procedural.

“What we expect to hear today are the charges being recapitulated and read to Netanyahu,” he said.

“We may also hear arguments from the rival legal teams revealing what kind of evidence is available to the defence,” Fawcett added.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people on Sunday took part in rival protests in favour of Netanyahu and against him, shortly before before his appearance at the court.

A three-judge panel, which will hear the prime minister’s case, turned down on Wednesday his request to stay away from the opening session.

In asking to be excused, Netanyahu called the event a formality and argued that bringing his contingent of bodyguards would waste public funds and make it hard to comply with physical distancing rules.

Some critics said Netanyahu was trying to avoid the optics of a prime minister sitting in the defendant’s dock. Turning down his request, the court said it was important for justice to be seen to be done.

Netanyahu protest - pro
Netanyahu supporters gathered outside the Jerusalem court.

Political deadlock resolved

After three bruising elections over the past year, Netanyahu was sworn into office this week for a fourth consecutive term.

All three elections were seen as referendums on his fitness for office, and all ended in deadlock. After the most recent vote in March, his rival, Benny Gantz, appeared to have mustered enough support in Parliament to pass legislation that would have disqualified Netanyahu from serving as prime minister while under indictment.

However, in a stunning turnaround, Gantz, citing fears of a fourth expensive election and the coronavirus pandemic, agreed to shelve the legislation and instead form a power-sharing government with Netanyahu.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for Netanyahu to remain in power. In a key ruling, it said an indicted politician may serve as prime minister – even though Israeli law requires all other office-holders to resign if charged with a crime.

Yuval Shany, professor of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argued that there is “a basic incompatibility” between Netanyahu’s role as head of the government and his status as a criminal defendant.

In the latter role, Shany said, the prime minister would be “fighting very aggressively and maybe effectively to weaken the government authorities that are prosecuting him”.

“There is a very serious conflict of interest situation,” he told AFP news agency.

Under their deal, Netanyahu was forced to yield some powers to Gantz, with each wielding a veto over most key decisions. Gantz will hold the title of “alternate prime minister,” and after 18 months, they will swap jobs.

Six years ago, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was found guilty of bribe-taking and served 16 months in jail. His trial took place after his 2006-2009 term in office.

3 thoughts on “Netanyahu to become 1st serving Israel PM facing criminal charges

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  1. It can not ethivcally-truthfully-legally end in a “battle of mere words”, can not end in a “political power-struggle” between the chronic liar netanyahu “and his opponents”.

    netanyahu’s “supporters” are ridiculous. The anti-netanyahu Protestors clearly say the truth, and are ALSO politically CORRECTLY attitudely configured, on the correct Way, simply.

    The Court HAS told Netanyahu, to HAVE to APPEAR at COURT. PERIOD. The FIRST very good Step.

    … netanyahu can not rightfully simply “depower” a Court, which – legally correctly – indicts Him.

    Also, his reputation “as leader” is finished.

    This Court Trial will weaken not only, but render netanyahu unable, to proceed normally, politically, – demagogically, he has anyway always fared, he is a spoilt dumb incompetent power-monster, a primitive lowling, a nobody, an idiot, – someone, who can not handle any matters, someone very anti-intellectual and non-intellectual, dangerous by his own “anti-intellectuality”, as he is an insane “anti-leftist”, an actual 60s mccarthyist, a fanatic, someone not different from ORBAN the terrible in hungary, simply – whom he lately “embraced” on an UGLY photo.

    netanyahu is seriously fascist, severely, is corrupt, assumed wrongly, to be able, to manipulate anyhow the world – he did thusly israel no favor.

    instead, his opression, murderous, against Palestinians, IS the same, as his financial corruption, probably by amount worse, than SARKOZY’s now known “investments”.

    but netanyahu simply force-controlled the israeli media landscape, meaning, he brainwashed israelis thusly into a “He-Cult”, into a “netanyahu-CULT”, which IS far-rightwing, simply – and has thusly many “shades” of evil, of evil, unethical, abusive, manipulative deeds, real “arms” of evil, of manipulation, simply – against People, – against truth, really simply.

    netanyahu’s “will” is, to annex the Westbank. The man has got to get stopped. He is – severely – abusive, plain evil.

    would netanyahu get through with his annexation “program”, then, many Jews will be killed by simply the other Side, and the World will side surely not with rightwing type of what I do call full mere sudo-jews, nor with the fanatic “orthodox” fanatically abusively evilly “anti-homosexual” insane “orthodox” type of socalled “jews”, – who ARE a problem, who MUST yield to respecting Homosexuals, to respecting Women equally, to give Women same Education of unlimited type, and to respect Science, and surely not “religion” “OVER SCIENCE”.

    USA is abusive by “ending AID to palestinian Refugee Agency UNRWA”. USA will instantly take up this Aid again, command I – humbly and thinking of the Starship Troopers Song, I say this, in Love and Respect, and in Criticism of constructive and surely strict type, toward USA. It has goodly let the iranian Oil Tankers through now, though, another there positive point.

    … the poor “pro-netanyahu” type of Israelis, LOL, – how many are They, and why are they so dumb, haha: They’re brainwashed. Telling this to them, is no use. Why? LOL.

    Ani omer Lachem, se lo meanyen, beeemet. Ma se.

    I tell You, it’s not hilarious (not amusing, not great). What is this. 🙂

    Lehitleraot would mean here, Lenetanyahuot, LOL: Lehitraot, Goodbye, in hebrew, with a “-LER” turkish “To Him” Syllable integrated. To honor – adolf netanyahu. 🙂

    heil netanyahu. heil ! HEIL !

    … that’s, what he is. worse than any Goering, simply, worse than Goebbels actually was.

    Worse than HIMMLER was. !

    netanyahu. a self-appointed wannabe “priest” who calls himself by an artificial self-chosen silly name, which would mean “god-given”. which artificial name hides his real name, and terms him as “the prophet”. he is a very primitive, mean, slinky, slick, really “sleek”, sneaky and tricky, tricksterous, but always PRIMITIVE “full force” and “full deception” and “full stupid words-output” dude. “beware” even approaching him: he always takes the “matter” at hand like an adolf hitler, who approaches a Dog or Baby in front of media cameras. NO difference! THE SAME delusion, the SAME “fiat” type of fascist background, me totally now not meaning the “fiat” brand, but rather, exactly orban and netanyahu, these worse-than-the-US-government manipulators, simply. worse because, USA’s rightwing deeds “must not be copied” by others, by small players – who “could be wiser”, but are not, but are THE SAME rightwing NITWITS, fools, under-educated DESTROYERS against fairness, and thusly, against simply even the possible existence of humanity, against the functioning of society. netanyahu has HAVOCED israel, has divided People, has mobbed-up, upheaved, a bunch of patriots, has opressed against Palestinians, in horrendous actions violating hugely human Rights, has given Israel the reputation of a totalitarian state, has created antisemitism, which antisemitism hits exactly those, who are against – the evil – netanyahu.

    The Court must naught be impressed by all this, but must sentence the Defendant, here better entitled the Accused, to his just deserved legal Punishment in the Form of a monetary fine or, if the Court deems so, even in the Form of actual Imprisonment against the Accused, against Mr. Netanyahu.

    and I DO upon that TYPE HERE A SMILEY.

    :).

    period. so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree but violence is something we all don’t want so let just hope for the best. It’s sad when humans let greed and power take over their decision making yet others are forced to suffer for such cause.

      Like

  2. LOL. what? violence? dude.

    I am “slightly” talking against violence. I was victim of sudden violence by prohitler muslims and by a black person.

    dear other “blogger person”.

    heed this.

    Furthermore, undisturbedly by people, who have no vision and no mental flesh like me the Motherbrain, I wish to state the following. Undisturbed by people, who have no insight into Israel, nor into the human psyche, but who use lush words such as the word “sad” at the clearly wrong place, LOL:

    … Netanyahu’s wielding of office is indeed incompatible with his being accused. Whereas his being accused, is the “real”, rightfully so being part of it. Not the – abusive – fact, that He, a now definitely as corrupt revealed Person, rules.

    Netanyahu, btw, is dependent exactly on people, who “hope for the best” such people are insane, primitive, not intelligent, simply. Nobody “hopes for the best”, what a silly formulation is that. Netanyahu depends on people having no information, no “edge” goodly, but depends on people being as dementedly blind, as he himself is. simply.

    The Accusation correctly louds against his manipulation and money-receiving [!] from some “media”, whereas that is clearly “corruption”, illegal, where government “gives itself money”, profits, from its own – harmful – manipulation: Because, Netanyahu’s manipulation merely “served” Himself, simply. That “can’t” indeed “be good” for Israel or for any other Nation either, what He did: What He did, is, simply: He made by effort Israelis “obedient” to “Himself” insofar, that “Himself” meant and means still there, his “anti-Palestinians” simply racist, imperialist, rightwing-conservative “line”, which is horrendous – and INCLUDES simply also money-profiteering – “for the cause of power”: corrupter, it “can’t” get nor be, simply – with “this” netanyahu – who embraced ORBAN, ORBAN, who now had THUGS barge into LEFTIST REDACTIONS in HUNGARY massively.

    The “Person” “aazogu” is apparently antisemitic and lies, I would be “violent”.

    That is a serious attack against my Person. This is all stored on my Website.

    Do mind, that the very FBI is watching. And I am happening to be on the side of USA.

    … against “people”, who call ME “violent”. I was never violent.

    … is that other blogger here on the side of alkaida, or what. seems like. but not of the good, but only of the bad people in there.

    … the other blogger wants to lie, I’d have spoken “for violence” “against netanyahu”, LOL.

    netanyahu is the violence-doer.

    … maybe, the other “blogger” wants to “state”, against hitler in office, “violence” would have been any “wrong”.

    The other blogger is at fault. I can not be adressed in such humongously stupid ways, simply. With liars, I don’t talk. period.

    Like

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