September 15, 2019

Bibi's Stormy Strategy

“For the first time in its history, Israel is facing a real possibility of government chaos and a deep and unprecedented constitutional crisis. The person behind this crisis is the head of government himself, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is doing it intentionally; it is all part of his plan. He wants to use this chaos to survive and escape justice, and is prepared to use the theory of the “Deep State” to destroy the “State.”

Netanyahu is no longer acting in an official capacity. He is going all the way in fulfilling the predictions made about him once his legal problems began two years ago. He will not hesitate to set the country and its institutions on fire, if it means saving his seat. A legal source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that at a meeting of top legal and law enforcement officials last week one of the participants noted, “Netanyahu will not leave his official residence of his own free will.”

For the past two years, Netanyahu has been busy meticulously destroying the official agencies of Israeli law enforcement. He began with the police, including its investigators and even its commissioner, and then moved on to the State Attorney’s Office, the Supreme Court, Chairman of the Central Elections Committee Supreme Court Justice Hanan Meltzer and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. At the same time, he has been bashing the media, going after journalists he doesn’t like one by one. Even if he wins the next election — and the chances of him winning the coveted 61 seats are fair to good — his fate will still depend on the Supreme Court. He has no interest in standing trial, even if his coalition allows him to continue in his position while that is going on. If the Knesset grants him immunity (it is supposed to be put up to a vote), the Supreme Court will still be asked to rule on the decision. In that case, there is a chance that the Supreme Court will overturn his immunity. Netanyahu has no plans to comply with this decision and will incite his supporters to back him up in this. This will likely result in a serious dilemma. To whom should the various officials in Israel actually listen: the Supreme Court or the prime minister, his justice minister (who will inevitably be chosen from among Netanyahu’s staunchest loyalists) and the government? A question like this has never come up since the country’s founding. Israel has always been a law-abiding state, and a nation where the principle of the “supremacy of the law” has never been questioned. It is no longer such a state…”

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