Opinion: Israelis are held hostage by a man willing to destroy every function of the state and its national unity to serve his own interests; he should recall his own words about his similarly indicted predecessor Ehud Olmert: This is a prime minister who is up to his neck in investigations, and has no public or moral mandate to make fateful decisions for Israel
Yuval Diskin – www.ynetnews.com
There is one thing to remember – we are the real victims of the delusional situation in which our country finds itself. Us. Not the defendant Benjamin Netanyahu.
Do not let the defendant, as accomplished a salesman and public speaker as he is, confuse you. Not even for one minute. What is on the line is the future of our country’s existence against all odds, and the future of our national unity. These are the real victims of what is happening.
The victim is not the defendant who heads a transitional government, the one who failed twice last year in trying to form a government, the one who was put on trial by the attorney general.
The victim is not the defendant. We are the victims. We, our future and the future of our children are all at stake here.
Because the defendant is prepared to do absolutely anything to prove to us that there is an attempted government coup against him.
He is inciting against the rule of law and against the media, and calls on his supporters to take to the streets and town squares in violation of the rule of law in the State of Israel.
This is unprecedented, incomprehensible, shocking. And the reason for it all is his determination to avoid a court trial where he will have to prove his innocence like any other citizen of Israel.
But let us humor him awhile and try to see if there really is a governmental coup going on.
Let the facts speak for themselves.
Fact 1: The defendant is the same person who appointed Roni Alsheikh, the then-Israel Police commissioner who submitted his recommendations to indict Netanyahu.
I know the commissioner very well from the time I was his superior in the Shin Bet security service, and how shall I put it – he is not exactly a Meretz supporter or, God forbid, an extreme leftist.
Fact 2: The defendant is the one who appointed and promoted Avichai Mandelblit as attorney general, who in turn served the indictment papers.
The very same Mandelblit happened to be the sole candidate for the job, after serving as cabinet secretary for the defendant, and his appointment was approved by the government headed by the defendant.
This seems the appropriate time to mention that Mandelblit managed to squash Sara Netanyahu’s legal woes using a peculiar clause about “deliberately exploiting the mistake of another for personal financial benefit in a way that does not constitute fraud.”
Without a doubt, this attorney general is not out to get the defendant or his family.
This “built for purpose” attorney general – who to my surprise showed great personal courage in his decision to indict the head of the transitional government for fraud, breach of trust and bribery – is now considered, according to Netanyahu’s mouthpieces, to be the victim of the “Deep State” that is de facto running the country.
That Deep State apparently spoke through Mandelblit’s mouth when he announced the indictment.
This multitude of mouthpieces should not forget that the same Mandelblit is very suspiciously taking his time when it comes to Case 3000 aka the “submarine affair,” where the involvement of the defendant and his confidants (some trusted aides and others family members) seems much more severe that the others.
And this is because in the “submarine affair” – as opposed to the others – there is a strong suspicion of corruption directly related to the security of the State of Israel. Let us hope that by the time Mandelblit finally comes to a decision in the matter, the statute of limitations has not yet expired.
Fact 3: The defendant Netanyahu claims that he is a victim of the media, but please note that he controls the free daily newspaper with the largest circulation in Israel, a paper established especially for him by his friend Sheldon Adelson, who managed to buy a large group of “friendly” reporters, and give Netanyahu full control over its contents.
Netanyahu also controls Channel 20 television – and, according to the indictment, also held sway at the Walla! website and had “give and take” discussions with Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet publisher Arnon Mozes – all while intimidating quite a few editors and journalists into suppressing “negative” articles about him.
Fact 4: The defendant’s case will most probably make its way through the judicial system and the Supreme Court. This system, too, is under attack by the defendant Netanyahu’s mouthpieces, as well as by numerous right-wing supporters.
This is despite the fact that Ayelet Shaked, justice minister in Netanyahu’s former government, proudly announced that she managed to change the judicial system by controlling the nomination of judges and by forming a clear policy of “reform.”
Moreover, 13 out of the 15(!) Supreme Court Judges were appointed during the defendant’s candidacy.
Now, let us combine put all of this information together.
Despite the very “user friendly” nominations, indictments have been served. Those public servants could not ignore the evidence that was uncovered in the various investigations, and even though they were close to the defendant, they chose to indict him.
They chose loyalty to the State of Israel over loyalty to the person who nominated them in the hope of gaining total and blind faith.
Therefore, it is absolutely clear, that claiming that Netanyahu is the victim is a total fabrication.
There is, however, a victim in this story. We, the People of Israel, are the victim.
We are the victim of an ongoing deliberate attack by the defendant Netanyahu on our national unity.
His inciting attacks, quoted and recorded in public over the years, were meant to serve his private and political interests.
They contributed to spreading hate and schism among Jews in Israel, and created a grave split between us and the Jews in the Diaspora, as well as between the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.
Spreading hate and division among us is in my opinion gravest indictment of all – more serious than any “affair”.
Houses divided cannot stand, they crumble and collapse.
But the defendant Netanyahu is not content with undermining national unity. Now as a sitting prime minister he is leading an unprecedented inflammatory campaign against the judiciary and the police.
The immediate result of this incitement is that bodyguards have been provided for State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Liat Ben Ari, the Tel Aviv district attorney who holds the economic crimes portfolio and who has led numerous high-level investigations into political and corporate figures. There is an imminent threat to the safety of both.
Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin must be spinning in their graves. How far have we strayed from the vision of the ideal a model society described in the Declaration of Independence?
My friends, do not let anyone confuse you. Stay lucid and remember – we are the victims of an ongoing campaign against our national unity, against the media and against the judicial system.
It is a campaign orchestrated by Netanyahu solely for the purpose of personal survival. This is a strategic threat to our unity and to the future of our country and our nation. That is why the time has come to publicly demand of the defendant to act according to his own now-famous 2008 words about then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.
“This is a prime minister who is up to his neck in investigations, and has no public or moral mandate to make fateful decisions for Israel. There is genuine and not unfounded concern that he will make decisions on the basis of his personal and political survival and not in the national interests, since he is in such unique and deep distress.”
Unlike Olmert, who did not try to destroy the country and resigned to work on his defense (and later paid the price in prison), the defendant Netanyahu is proving to us that he is guided solely by personal interests, and is acting totally against the good of the country and its people.
Finally, I would like to call on all those who hold the good of the country and the unity of the nation close to their hearts.
If the Likud leadership does not find a way to replace Netanyahu and allows him to tend to his legal matters, we – the responsible public of Israel, of all political affiliations, will have to demand that he does go.
We will demand it on social media, we will demand it in the streets and the town squares. Using democratic, legal and responsible means, we will demand that the defendant abide by the standards he himself set quite justly in 2008, and resign immediately.
This is the only right thing to do, and he can do it immediately in order to keep the State of Israel democratic, Jewish, equal and clean of corruption.
Any other decision will turn his legacy into a dark stain on the history of the State of Israel.