הפגנת תמיכה בבנימין נתניהו
Rally in support of Netanyahu amid his legal tribulations
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Rally in support of Netanyahu amid his legal tribulations

Netanyahu's indictments were the fuel to his victory

Opinion: Netanyahu's incitements have ultimately only emboldened undecided supporters to vote for Likud under his leadership and it is quite possible that their vote would have been different had the premier been subjected to the moral judgment of the people

Sever Plocker |
Published: 03.03.20 , 11:39
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started the first 2019 election campaign from a position of weakness.
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  • Any politician in any democratic country would find it hard to impossible to win three elections in a row.
    הפגנת תמיכה בבנימין נתניהוהפגנת תמיכה בבנימין נתניהו
    Rally in support of Netanyahu amid his legal tribulations
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Such an event is very rare since the public is getting tired from seeing the same face at the country's helm.
    Statistically speaking, one can assume that without the corruption charges against him, Netanyahu would have already lost last year.
    Those who had a political interest in ousting Netanyahu should learn a thing or two from the Amedi Affair, in which Netanyahu and his family were accused of financing private transactions with public funds.
    In March 2000, Police and then-state attorney Edna Arbel recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for fraud and breach of trust, but then-attorney general Prof. Elyakim Rubinstein rejected the notion.
    Instead, Rubinstein published a scathing condemnation of Netanyahu and his family.
    The ethical condemnation in Rubinstein's statement resonated so deeply within the public conscience, it prevented Netanyahu from leading Likud to another election win until 2009.
    In a democracy, a leader who betrays the people is punished by the people, and severely.
    Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit could have acted similarly in Netanyahu's three corruption cases, especially in cases 2000 - in which Netanyahu is accused of helping the proprietors of Yedioth Ahronoth, Ynet's sister publication, squash their closest rival in exchange for favorable media coverage - and 3000 - in which Netanyahu's cousin and personal lawyer is accused of swaying an Israeli arms' deal for the personal gain of several of the people involved.
    אביחי מנדלבליט בהצהרה על כתבי האישוםאביחי מנדלבליט בהצהרה על כתבי האישום
    Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announces Netanyahu's indictments
    (Photo: Rafi Kutz)
    Mandelblit could have published an uncompromising public condemnation as the prime minister's corruption screamed to the heavens, but the attorney general and the state attorney have decided differently.
    However, case 1000 - in which Netanyahu is accused of unlawfully receiving gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer – in the eyes of the public; reeks of bribery and criminal, or inappropriate, conduct at the very least; but this one received the least coverage and almost faded into obscurity.
    Blue & White's election campaign also directed its slings and arrows at the legal aspect of Netanyahu and his family's behavior, rather than the moral aspect.
    But the ongoing weaponization of the judiciary as a tool of propaganda has proven to be a failure. According to the exit poll results – about have of the general public and about 57 percent of the Jewish public – refuse to see the criminal charges against Netanyahu as a barrier on his way to another tenure.
    Ultimately, the charges and indictments against Netanyahu have only emboldened hesitant and undecided supporters to vote for Likud under his leadership.
    It is quite possible that their vote would have been different had the premier been subjected to the moral judgment of the people.
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