February 18, 2020

Netanyahu Calls Indictment a ‘Coup,’ Says ‘Investigators Should Be Investigated’

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 20: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks makes a statement before a right wing parties meeting on November 20, 2019 in Jerusalem, Israel. Israel may face third election after Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu struggle to form coalition. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s decision to indict him on Nov. 21 “an attempted coup,” urging the investigators to be investigated.

Speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu criticized Mandelblit for making his decision during the “most sensitive time politically since the establishment of the state.” 

Currently, Israel is on the brink of its third round of elections if the Knesset doesn’t form a coalition in 21 days.

“This is an attempted overthrow of a prime minister [with a] biased investigation,” Netanyahu said. “Indictment publicized faster than ever at the most sensitive timing. The recommendation was also published a few weeks before the last election.”

He accused the investigators of “inventing new crimes” and “selective enforcement on steroids. It’s enforcement just for me.” He advocated for an independent commission to investigate the investigators.

“I cannot believe that the country I fought for and was wounded for, that I’ve brought to such achievements, that in this country, in its democracy, there will be this kind of tainted justice, of selective enforcement,” Netanyahu said. “I won’t let the lie win. I will continue to lead this country with devotion. For this country, for the rule of law, for justice, we have to do one thing: to finally investigate the investigators.”

Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases. Case 1000 involves Netanyahu allegedly providing favor to wealthy supporters in return for gifts. Cases 2000 and 4000 involve Netanyahu allegedly using regulations to empower specific news outlets in exchange for more favorable coverage.

Mandelblit said in his announcement of the indictment that his decision wasn’t political. “We’re not infallible or above criticism,” he said. “But we acted without fear or prejudice, for the rule of law.”

Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief and Journal columnist Ben Shapiro explained in a Twitter thread that Netanyahu’s indictment opens up a whole new set of possibilities for Israel’s political future.

Journal Senior Political Editor Shmuel Rosner wrote, “For the first time in Israel’s history a sitting Prime Minister will be indicted for charges as serious as bribery. No matter the final outcome of this sorry affair, today is a sad day.”