(Jerusalem, Israel) — After months of rumors that it was coming, a thermonuclear legal and political bomb hit today.
Israel’s Attorney General is moving ahead with indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three separate cases involving corruption and bribery.
Netanyahu insists he is innocent and will be vindicated.
Friends of the Prime Minister are calling the indictments “a political hit job.”
It should be noted that a previous Israeli Prime Minister — Ehud Olmert — was indicted while in office. His government coalition unraveled. He was forced to step down as premier. He was eventually convicted and sent to prison.
Several years before that, a former Israeli President — Moshe Katsav — was also indicted, removed from office, convicted and sent to prison.
It’s far too early to say how these cases will play out legally. But the political stakes could not be much higher for Netanyahu personally, and for his Likud party.
“In a move that drastically shakes up Israeli politics less than six weeks before general elections, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit decided Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be charged with criminal wrongdoing in three separate cases against him, including bribery in the far-reaching Bezeq corruption probe, pending a hearing,” reports the Times of Israel.
“Mandelblit said that Netanyahu will be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000, ‘the Bezeq-Walla affair’; for breach of trust in Case 1000, ‘the Illegal Gifts Affair’; and that he would charge him with fraud and breach of trust in Case 2000, ‘the Yediot Aharonot–Israel Hayom affair,'” reports The Jerusalem Post.
The Post further noted:
- Netanyahu’s Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party are neck and neck in the polls, and if the prime minister loses even a few seats due to the accusations against him for public corruption, it could turn the tide.
- Even if Netanyahu wins reelection, there is a strong chance that Mandelblit, after holding a series of pre-indictment hearings with Netanyahu’s lawyers, will issue a final decision to indict him in the next three to 12 months. This could lead the High Court of Justice to force the prime minister’s resignation if he does not voluntarily step down.
Please pray for the Netanyahu family, and for the nation as a whole during this tumultuous time. Thanks.