A leader who won’t go quietly
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to burn down the Israeli justice system in order to save himself, said Yossi Verter. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit last week charged Netanyahu on three counts relating to bribery and abuse of office for political gain. They range from trading political favors for gifts of cigars and champagne to easing regulations on Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecom company, in exchange for positive media coverage. Bibi insists he is being persecuted, saying he is a victim of a “coup” and “a tainted investigative process.” By smearing legal authorities as the partisan deep state, he hopes to draw his supporters into the “warped world of conspiracy theories that he and his family inhabit.” Israel is almost certainly headed for a March election, given that neither Netanyahu nor his rival, Benny Gantz, was able to form a governing coalition following September’s inconclusive vote. But Mendelblit might soon announce that a lawmaker under indictment may not form a government. Will Likud members continue showing “ingratiating canine loyalty to the man about to lead them into the abyss?” Or will they toss him aside for a new leader? Either way, we can be sure Netanyahu will “fight like a wounded lion” willing to claw our democracy to bits.