Netanyahu’s original plan was to go through the motions of trying to set up a new coalition, declaring failure and setting a date for a fourth election. He was sidetracked by the sudden realization that Gantz could be coaxed into an illusory power-sharing agreement, thus precipitating the break-up of Netanyahu’s center-left opposition while delegitimizing his partner’s leadership role at the same time. Gantz was forewarned that Netanyahu was laying a trap for him, but decided, naively and disastrously, to walk straight into it.
The victimization and persecution that are imprinted and growing inside of him release Netanyahu from guilt feelings, pangs of conscience or even a shred of a feeling of responsibility. He sees himself as fighting a constant war of survival and defense against the stated and clandestine groups who are conspiring to bring him down or eliminate him. This is why he will never understand that he is the person directly and centrally responsible for the violent and bloody street battles that we saw this week, which could deteriorate into murder in seconds.
We’ve almost forgotten how all this started. When he was indicted, I wrote that to keep his trial from going forward, including the testimony of state witnesses that is expected to spell his political end, he wouldn’t hesitate “to burn down the clubhouse.” Literally.
Now the testimony phase of his case is approaching. In another five months, the first of those three state witnesses will take the stand. What can stop it? A civil war, for example. A siege of the Jerusalem District Court, for example.
The judges – panel head Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham – ruled that in this second hearing only the defense attorneys would be present, not the accused.
Police arrested 55 demonstrators Thursday night as thousands of anti-government protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem, calling for his resignation over his corruption charges and what they call a mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis and assault on democracy.
Die Beweisaufnahme im Korruptionsprozess gegen Israels Premier Netanyahu wird wegen Corona nun erst 2021 starten. Allerdings werden die Proteste gegen seine Politik in der Pandemie immer lauter.
The panel of judges, headed by Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham, ruled that in this second hearing only the defense attorneys would be present, not the accused.
Friedman-Feldman determined that the evidentiary phase will begin in January 2021, with three sessions a week.
The person who will determine whether the trial which has riven society in two will be fast-tracked or drag its feet is the head of the panel of judges, Rivka Friedman-Feldman. If she decides to speed things up, there is no reason the trial should drag on for years.
‚We’re young and no longer willing to shut up and be nice,‘ says one of the thousands of demonstrators who turned up near the Prime Minister’s Residence angry and bold
Thousands of Israelis protested outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday (July 14), demanding his resignation over what they say has been an inept government response to the coronavirus crisis as well as his corruption trial.
Israeli police have clashed with protesters outside Benjamin Netanyahu’s house, as the embattled prime minister faces heightened criticism for alleged corruption and his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Jerusalem municipal officials, accompanied by police, arrived outside the premier’s residence and began to dismantle tents of a protest camp that had been erected weeks ago by people calling for Netanyahu to resign.
Thousands demand Netanyahu’s resignation over corruption charges ■ Man suspected being undercover police officer beaten by protesters
Around 2,000 protesters arrived at the rally under the moniker “Bastille Day,” named after the July 14th French National Day which commemorates the storming of a grand fortress — an event that launched the French Revolution in 1789.
Netanyahu has been drawing criticism not only for his alleged misconduct in the three corruption cases against him, but also for his attacks on the attorney general, the media, law enforcement and the judiciary in his arguments that the charges against him are baseless.
Protesters have also demanded further investigation into allegations of impropriety in the purchase of submarines from Germany.
“I just got up, made a sign and went out to the street and protested,” he explained. “Every Saturday, just a friend [and I were] on the street corner.”
Ben Shitrit happens to be a cousin of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, one of Netanyahu’s staunchest allies and defenders. He says he hasn’t spoken to his cousin, whom he calls a “sycophant” and a “poodle,” in years.
Netanyahu’s fixation with controlling the media is dangerous enough; controlling law enforcement will be worse
The 70-year-old premier, whose personal fortune has been estimated at more than $10 million, was also ordered to return some of the money he received from his American cousin Nathan Milikowsky to cover legal expenses.
Following those setbacks, defense lawyer Micha Fettman resigned from the right-wing premier’s defense team.
Multiple Israeli media outlets reported Wednesday that the resignation was linked to money and the prospect that Fettman’s fees would not be covered.
At the end of summer 2020, Israeli democracy died in broad daylight.
We believe in a Jewish and democratic Israel. We feel no obligation to defend Netanyahu’s pathological viciousness, monumentally stupid annexation, incitement and self-enrichment
‚Black Flag‘ movement continues demonstrations against prime minister, on trial for alleged corruption and accused by critics of attempting to subvert democracy
Netanyahu’s strategy is transparent. He doesn’t have a scrap of evidence that would support his claims about Mendelblit. If he did, he wouldn’t need the campaign of mudslinging and lies that he’s conducting.
All Netanyahu wants is to cast doubt on Mendelblit’s motives, strengthen the doubt and cultivate it, until it casts a pall on the integrity of the legal proceedings against him.
Earlier, Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 13 reported that Justice Ministry officials slammed recent comments of Netanyahu and Likud ministers, saying “They continue the delegitimization campaign against law enforcement authorities when next up will be the judges.
“They [Netanyahu, Likud] repeat the same farcical mantras and lies, and knowingly lie to the public,” they added, according to Channel 13.
Some are veteran protesters, some are newcomers, but all of them agree that the younger generation – that they say takes no interest in politics – must be enlisted to bring about change
He also commended the United States for the January drone strike that killed Quds force leader, „arch-terrorist“ Qasem Soleimani and warned that Israel will do everything necessary to make sure that Iran does not expand its foothold in Syria.
The comments were made during a joint press briefing with Brian Hook, US Special Representative on Iran, who visited Israel as part of his larger official Middle East trip.
The prime minister seeks to receive outside funding from his cousin Nathan Milikowsky as well as from Partrich. After convening last month, the panel asked the attorney general for his position, as Partrich is listed as a witness in one of the cases against Netanyahu.
The organizers said that over the course of the week, they will establish a protest tent on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard – recalling the tent city that had been erected there during the social protests of 2012.
Additional protests are taking place at some 70 intersections throughout the country. Dozens of protesters are present at each junction, holding signs reading „Netanyahu is corrupt and corrupts,“ „Investigation now“ (referring to the so-called submarine affair), „The defendent needs to go home,“ and other slogans.
Protests organized by the Black Flags movement against corruption broke out across Israel late Saturday, with demonstrators blocking more than 70 intersections nationwide following the arrest of retired Brig.-Gen. Amir Haskel on Friday afternoon.
Demonstration part of ongoing ‘black flag’ anti-corruption protests against the prime minister, who is standing trial in a series of graft cases
The proposed West Bank land grab is so patently unhinged it sparks suspicions of more ambitious and sinister designs
Drucker’s investigative report broadcast Wednesday on the Hebrew-language Channel 13, included a recording of Shaul Elovich, a personal friend of Netanyahu and a majority shareholder in the Bezeq telecommunications company, appearing to discuss with with former Walla news CEO Ilan Yeshua how to frame news coverage of Netanyahu so as to present the leader in a positive light.
Bezeq fully owns the Hebrew-language Walla website.
The prime minister is a maimed animal. This statement does not diminish from the egregiousness of his statements – the incitement, the attacks on the judicial system and the media, hurling accusations at all and sundry – but it explains his conduct and motives.
He’s a wounded animal, persecuted, aggressive, violent, bent on survival, with no qualms about using any available means, just like any animal that’s fighting for its life.
In response to the new development, a statement released on behalf of the prime minister called the new investigation threat “extortion.”
“The anonymous threats by police investigators to open another futile investigation against the prime minister… is an attempt to silence none other than the prime minister of Israel,” the statement said. “These threats are a clear example of the sickness that must be corrected in order to secure Israel’s democracy.”
etanyahu enters the ring on Sunday at the peak of his powers after breaking up his opposition and securing his fifth appointment as prime minister. He’s got Israel’s ruling party and half of its cabinet and parliament willing to do whatever it takes to intimidate Netanyahu’s accusers and judges. And he’s got a dangerous mob behind him, baying for action, praying for a pretext.
Netanyahu is the first sitting Israeli PM to be tried in court. He was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in November.
These won’t be the faces of his yes-men or the politicians begging for a portfolio, scattering the last crumbs of their dignity.
Kein israelischer Regierungschef ist länger im Amt als Benjamin Netanyahu. Heute schreibt er erneut Geschichte: Als erster amtierender Premier steht er vor Gericht. Die Anklage: Bestechlichkeit, Betrug und Untreue.
This means that Netanyahu may have to be present at the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday to hear the charges read against him in three corruption cases — of which he has vehemently denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Israels Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanjahu muss zum Auftakt seines Korruptionsprozesses am Sonntag persönlich anwesend sein. Das Justizministerium begründete das heute unter anderem damit, dass das Vertrauen der Öffentlichkeit in einen fairen Prozess gewährleistet werden müsse. Damit wurde ein Antrag von Netanjahus Anwälten abgelehnt.
Netanyahu, charged with bribery and fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases, claimed in his request Monday that having to show up at court for the first hearing – which he claims is merely a technicality – would “cost the public a fortune.”
The trial was initially scheduled to open on March 17, but was delayed after former Justice Minister Amir Ohana froze the courts as part of the coronavirus emergency regulations.
They well knew that over the years, Netanyahu has repeatedly proven that he has used the seat of prime minister as a pickaxe with which to dig a tunnel to escape prosecution. They know that for years he has exploited his position to discredit, lie, deceive, incite and mock the legal and judicial authorities, to evade the arm of the law; that for at least a year and a half he has been threatening that same tribunal from which he now sought permission to return to his seat, so that from there he could continue to crush that same tribunal.
He asked for it, and he got it.
It’s as if some suicidal spirit had seized the court.
The Likud-Kahol Lavan unity government due to be sworn in on Thursday was born in the sin of the severe crimes of bribery of which Benjamin Netanyahu is accused. This coalition was only made possible by defrauding massive numbers of voters, and even before it has been established, it has already become synonymous with the political system’s breach of the public’s trust.
The swearing-in will take longer than usual, both due to the emergency regulations and the surfeit of ministers, some of whom won’t have any idea what they’ll be doing in the cabinet. If the event could have a soundtrack it would probably be a requiem – a mass for the democratic rules of the game that somehow survived here for 72 years.
Eleven High Court justices unanimously legitimized the strangest, most warped governing coalition ever engineered in a political laboratory. We’ll never know if the gun pointed at their heads – the threat of a fourth election – affected their judgment.
The Knesset (Israel Parliament) also passed a raft of legislative changes to the country’s semi-constitutional Basic Laws, paving the way for a government to be established after more than a year of political deadlock.
Die Koalitionsvereinbarung von Netanjahus Likud mit dem Mitte-Bündnis Blau-Weiß sei zwar juristisch problematisch, hieß es in dem Urteil. Dennoch gebe es gegenwärtig keinen Grund für das Gericht, sich einzumischen.
According to The Times of Israel, Chief Justice Esther Hayut signaled during the proceedings that the court will neither stand in the way of Netanyahu forming a government nor of the coalition deal moving forward.
Expanded panel hears arguments Sunday on request that prime minister be disqualified over the criminal charges against him
The so-called „Black Flag“ protests were organized by the Movement for Quality Government under the slogan “Saving the court, saying no to corrupt government”. Protesters carried signs that read „We’re sick of corruption“ and „emergency government, corruption government“. At the mention of members of Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party the crowd booed and shouted, „Shame!“
Nothing of the like has been seen before – not in Israel or in any other advanced democracy. This political agreement, fundamentally corrupt and rotten, emasculates the Knesset under cover of the coronavirus, undermines the foundations of our system of government and subordinates the Supreme Court to the government.
The obvious reason for its existence is neither the coronavirus nor the crisis, but immunity for the criminal defendant, Benjamin Netanyahu, in any situation and at any price.
When the pandemic erupted and a state of emergency was declared, Justice Minister Amir Ohana was the first of the ministers to act, and in a rather suspicious manner ordered the work of the courts frozen only a few days before the prime minister’s trial was meant to begin. It later emerged that the move was coordinated with Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and the courts administrator, Yigal Marzel. The state of emergency declared for the courts was then extended to May 10.
More than 2,000 Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday, demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to form an “emergency” government with his chief rival and accusing him of using the coronavirus crisis to escape prosecution on corruption charges.
“Let there be no doubt, the High Court will take the opportunity to oust me,” Netanyahu himself says in these conversations. He warns that if the court prevents him from being prime minister, or if a law is enacted banning him from running for the post in the future, a civil rebellion will erupt. “Masses will take to the streets,” he predicts. “There will be a call to boycott the election.”
Der seit 14 Jahren in Israel regierende Netanjahu steht wegen Bestechlichkeit, Betrugs und Untreue unter Anklage. Er streitet alle Vorwürfe ab und sieht sich als Opfer der Staatsanwaltschaft und der Medien.
Der Korruptionsprozess gegen ihn hätte eigentlich Mitte März beginnen sollen, wurde aber wegen der Coronavirus-Pandemie um zwei Monate auf den 24. Mai verschoben.
On one hand, the prime minister says we are in the midst of a crisis not seen since the Dark Ages and on the other he abuses the crisis to try to escape his day in court.
How do our leaders expect us to cooperate during one of the worst crises Israel has ever known when our confidence in them is crumbling?
Rivlin agrees to give Gantz until Wednesday
Außerdem wollte Netanjahu demnach eine Garantie, dass das Höchste Gericht ihm das Amt des Regierungschefs nicht wegen seiner Korruptionsanklage verweigern kann.
One of first jobs facing a Netanyahu-Gantz government will be to appoint a permanent state prosecutor. Netanyahu must not be allowed to control or have even the slightest influence over who gets this post, given the important role the state prosecutor will play both in managing Netanyahu’s trial and in potential future investigations.
A criminal defendant will stay prime minister. Netanyahu has been rewarded, not punished, for his misuse of power in recent days. The exclusion of the Arab minority continues. And more than a million Israelis who voted for Blue and White have received a brutal lesson in political cynicism.
In all of this, Gantz is now Netanyahu’s partner.
„The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accomplishing something that three elections couldn’t — it’s forcing Israel’s deeply divided leaders to put the health and safety of the nation ahead of their own political fortunes,“ Israeli-American political analyst and author Joel Rosenberg told CNBC over the weekend.
The word “magician” is too weak to describe this stunning achievement, which isn’t solely a result of his political abilities. His magic, as in countless other occasions during his long career, was mixed with something else – destiny. Cosmic wizardry.
The coronavirus pandemic arrived with inconceivably perfect timing from his perspective, a moment before the bloc elected by his opponents – which originally numbered 62 Knesset members – began pushing through laws that would have prevented him from running for prime minister.
Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz will reportedly support a new law allowing incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve in the government despite multiple indictments against him, according to Hebrew media.
Current Israeli Parliament (Knesset) legislation bars elected officials from serving as government ministers while being charged with a crime.
The activists say they use the black flag, pinning them to the back of vehicles, to symbolize the danger a prime minister under indictment poses to Israeli democracy, according to The Times.
Netanyahu was indicted last year on three charges following a years-long corruption investigation, including breach of public trust, bribery, and fraud.
Crazy turn of events.
The High Court ruled in a unanimous decision Monday that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein must convene the Knesset no later than Wednesday, to elect his replacement.
Israel’s High Court of Justice approved Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s request to submit his answer today at 9 pm (local time) regarding whether he will convene a parliamentary vote for his replacement.
Throughout Israel’s 72-year existence, the Knesset Speaker had only been replaced once a new government was sworn in. Thus, replacing Edelstein before a government is formed would represent an unprecedented move, even with a majority vote.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the country’s parliament to reconvene for the selection of a new speaker, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he tries to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis and fend off a looming corruption trial.
The current speaker, Yuli Edelstein of Netanyahu’s Likud party, suspended the parliament’s activities last week, citing procedural issues and restrictions on large gatherings due to the virus.
Monday is an important test for Israeli democracy. The Knesset is due to resume its deliberations amidst the political crisis and the spread of the coronavirus.
If the Knesset chairman Yuri Edelstein, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political hatchetmen from Likud, continue with their delay tactics to prevent the legislative branch performing its duty, Israel will win the dubious title of the only „parliamentary democracy“ to fail to recognize the results of its last democratic general election and to be governed by an inoperative parliament.
Under the cover of a pandemic, he is transforming himself from lame-duck prime minister to unelected strongman. He and his henchmen have shut down parliament, enacted extreme “security” measures without legislative oversight and shelved the courts just as Netanyahu was about to go on trial for corruption.
I don’t use the word “coup” lightly. But any weaker description of Netanyahu’s assault on Israeli democracy is a refusal to absorb and report the truth.
Since a majority of Knesset members – 61 out of 120 – oppose the government, Edelstein was dispatched to block the activity of the legislature and prevent it from voting in a new speaker. It is inconceivable that a temporary speaker would use his authority to set the agenda in order to prevent the selection of a permanent speaker. It is parliamentary bullying, and it must stop immediately.
For years and years, we wondered when the occupation would come home.
It happened this week.
As the settlers once said in a different context: Yesha Zeh Kan – Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here.
One set of laws for the tyrant’s allies. Another set of laws for everyone else. Innocent civilians hounded. Their persecutor – never held accountable.
Raise the black flag. Stand up to the tyrant.
This is the fitting flag for this new Israel.
Panic over the coronavirus, justified as it may be, mustn’t blind the public from seeing how the temporary prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his party are exploiting the crisis to hold onto power. Through their management of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu and his government are neutralizing the justice system and quarantining the legislature.
These special means include gathering data about a person’s location via their cellphone and additional technological information using secret tools, and cross-referencing all of the data.
The process identifies all of the contacts coronavirus patients have had and the places they were, whether they are aware of it or not.
Protesters said they were angry at anti-democratic measures being taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak, such as this week’s decision to use cyber measures to track the location of people diagnosed with the virus as well as suspected coronavirus patients, in addition to strict restrictions to achieve social distancing, such as barring thousands of people from leaving their homes.
Further, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dispersed parliament on Wednesday, deepening the paralyzation of Israel’s legislative body, which critics have seen as an attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s democratic institutions.
Blue and White expressed outrage, accusing Edelstein of „trampling Israeli democracy at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest.“ The party said it would appeal to the Supreme Court against Edelstein on Thursday to force him to convene the plenum and „end the craziness.“
We are about to let the government gain absolute control over our lives – and thus know who we are, where we have been, when and with whom and who we speak to and when – without any form of consent or restriction.
By preventing the formation of the organizing committee, Speaker Yuli Edelstein also hampers the formation of the Knesset oversight committees on the coronavirus crisis
Edelstein has effectively prorogued parliament and with a total coronavirus shutdown expected in Israel any day now, politicians and political commentators have argued that the speaker’s actions have engendered one of Israel’s severest constitutional crises ever.
„The manner of how the inauguration will take place will be decided after another assessment tomorrow with relevant professionals,“ Edelstein said.
Replacing Edelstein could let Kahol Lavan push through legislation to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government while under indictment
Fear is the tyrant’s best friend – and liberty’s worst enemy. The human instinct for survival is more powerful than any social commitment to decency, due process, separation of powers or the nuances of democracy. As philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “Neither a man, nor a crowd, nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”
Fear was the instrument wielded most by 20th century tyrants, dictators and authoritarians. It provided them with pretext to remove restrictions, expand authority and to diminish, if not destroy, checks and balances.
His subjects, thanks to the terrifying television broadcasts, have become a hysterical herd. They have gone into war mode. It’s as if this war fell out of the sky as a gift to Netanyahu. But it’s not just luck. It’s also brains. Netanyahu refused to resign and refused to give up. Campaign after campaign, he grasps at his seat like a drowning person grasps at driftwood floating in the middle of the sea. He grasps and grasps and refuses to let go, until the ship comes along to carry him to safe haven, the corona ship.
The party has rejected this option in the past on principle that Netanyahu should not serve as premier because of his indictment in corruption cases.
The trial was set to begin on Tuesday. It has now been pushed back to May 24.
Both Netanyahu and Gantz have repeatedly spoken of winning a “Jewish majority” in the election, a deeply controversial notion that in spirit delegitimizes the votes of Arab citizens of Israel. However senior lawmakers from Blue & White met with their counterparts from the Joint List on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of the latter’s recommending Gantz as prime minister during consultations with President Reuven Rivlin tomorrow (Sunday, March 15). Gantz, the head of Blue & White, needs the support of the Joint List to show he has enough backing to form a government. Before the Corona crisis, Gantz had adamantly refused to join a government headed by Netanyahu as long as he is under indictment.
Next Tuesday, March 17, Netanyahu’s trial will commence in the Jerusalem District Court.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, is desperate to remain in office because installing a new government would give him an important political boost and potentially allow him to legislate his way out of the legal quagmire.
His opponent, Benny Gantz, refused to sit with him in government and appears poised to push for legislation in the incoming parliament that would bar anyone indicted for a crime from leading a government – in effect disqualifying Netanyahu from his position.
Netanyahu will be required to be present in court next week for his first hearing on March 17 after the court found that the prime minister’s lawyers‘ arguments did not justify postponing the hearing, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel’s right didn’t get the victory it expected – but at least there’s corona ■ Netanyahu’s 2020 achievement: Boosting the Joint List ■ Left and right, Naftali Bennett and Amir Peretz are waging the same war
Announcement means center-left, Joint List bloc will have 62 Knesset seats to pass bill
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a blow on Thursday afernoon when Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman endorsed Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s efforts to pass a law that would prevent an indicted MK from forming a government.