Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called his bid for legal immunity from prosecution in his three graft cases a "cornerstone of democracy."
"I'll let you know what's my decision [whether or not to request immunity in Knesset] within two days," said Netanyahu to supporters at a Likud event in Tel Aviv. "But let me tell you one thing: immunity doesn't go against democracy, it's a cornerstone of democracy."
Netanyahu also spoke about his landslide victory in last week's vote for Likud leadership, where he trounced opponent Gideon Sa'ar, and took a jibe at main political rivals Blue & White.
"There was a sweeping, clear, unequivocal democratic decision here," said Netanyahu. "I say to our distinguished opponents Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, why don't you conduct your own primaries? What are you afraid of?"
The incumbent also spoke about the High Court of Justice's upcoming Tuesday hearing on whether a candidate with pending indictments should be allowed to form and lead a government.
"The principle I learned in university and beforehand is that democracy is the rule of the people," said Netanyahu. "Only the people decide who will lead it and no one else. I do not think anyone will interfere in the democratic process, that anyone will seriously harm democracy."
Netanyahu also promised to keep pushing for normalization between Israel and moderate Arab countries, with which Israel has no diplomatic relations.
"We are bringing closer to us Arab countries that are already talking overtly about normalization and peace relations," said Netanyahu. "They say that 'Israel is not our enemy, Israel is our essential ally'. Mark my words: We will bring about normalization and peace agreements with several Arab countries."
Netanyahu also promised to bring American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over all Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
First published: 23:51 , 12.29.19