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Lapid and Gabbay
Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch
Gabbay, Lapid, lash Recommendations Bill
Yesh Atid and Zionist Union leaders decry PM’s relegation of public interests to make way for personal priorities; Lapid: ‘Everything is aimed to save Netanyahu from his interrogators.'
Yesh Atid Chairman, MK Yair Lapid, and Zionist Union Chairman, Avi Gabbay panned Monday the Recommendations Bill which was passed earlier by the Knesset Interior Committee, according to which the police will not be able to recommend an indictment in cases involving an accompanying attorney, meaning that the law would be applicable to investigations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

 

"It is a great disappointment that the coalition parties, which have decent people who claim to defend the rule of law, have reached a state where they approve this," Lapid said. "After all, they were pressured, and ended up reaching a situation that confirmed that the bill was only for Netanyahu's investigations."

 

According to Lapid, "After Netanyahu said that it was important that the law should not be connected to him personally, they fought like crazy so that the law would be connected to him personally. They made sure the law also applies to Netanyahu's investigations."

 

Avi Gabbay (L) and Yair Lapid (Photo: Abigail Uzi and Alex Kolomoisky)
Avi Gabbay (L) and Yair Lapid (Photo: Abigail Uzi and Alex Kolomoisky)

 

Lapid also said that Netanyahu "used to be statesmanlike," but that he has relegated the importance of public interests to make way for his personal priorities. 

 

"He knew how to put the country's consideration before his personal interests, but something bad happened," Lapid claimed, addressing Netanyahu directly: "You are not a victim and you are not persecuted. You are the prime minister of Israel, and there are important things on the agenda. It is impossible to take this wonderful country and turn it into the private business of one person with everything aimed to save him from his interrogators."

 

Gabbay then chimed in, supporting Lapid's point.

 

"We are very close to (becoming—ed) Turkey," Gabbay said, referring to Turkey's recent trend to centralize power in the hands of its president.

 

"Netanyahu said there would be nothing. Maybe so, but there would be nothing because there is a weak coalition here and parts of it are seriously corrupt and they share the crime. They share the crime of torpedoing the investigations and the crime of concealing the truth from the public eye."

 

Turning to the members of the coalition directly, Gabbay asked: "Where is your honor, coalition members? Like gang members sent to disrupt procedures and clean up crime scenes—that's what they turned you into."

 

Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon, who was slammed by the two for agreeing to the bill's current draft, rejected the criticism against him as "baseless and ridiculous."

 

Moshe Kahlon (Photo: Emil Salman)
Moshe Kahlon (Photo: Emil Salman)

 

"I said that we would support the bill and said at the same time that it would not apply to the prime minister's investigations, and starting today we support the bill," he said, adding that "as far as ongoing investigations are concerned, including those against Netanyahu, the attorney general will decide (on whether the police should recommend an indictment or not—ed)," stressing that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is a "clean, honest and professional person and we trust him."

 

According to the bill's new draft, the attorney general can request the police's recommendation even if the case has an accompanying attorney.

 

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