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Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
Netanyahu: 'I asked for the recommendations bill to not apply to me'
PM claims he has 'asked MK Amsalem to ensure the bill is worded in a way that it does not apply to the investigation conducted into my affairs,' saying discussion on the bill has been used 'as a political battering ram.'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Sunday he has asked MK David Amsalem to word the contentious recommendations bill "so it does not apply to the investigation conducted into my affairs."

 

 

The bill, which seeks to bar police from publicly releasing recommendations on indictment, has encountered obstacles in the Knesset amid objections from both coalition and opposition parties.

 

"The recommendations bill is a good bill. It protects human dignity," Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)
Prime Minister Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)

 

"Unfortunately, the bill has been used as a political battering ram against an elected government that has made unprecedented security, economic, social and diplomatic achievements," the prime minister continued.

 

"To ensure the discussion on the bill remains on topic and is not used for political propaganda, I've asked MK Amsalem to ensure the bill is worded in a way that it does not apply to the investigation conducted into my affairs," Netanyahu claimed.

 

Attacking the Israel Police, the prime minister noted that "It is obvious to all that the police recommendations about me have no meaning anyway. It appears their conclusions have been determined at the beginning of the investigation, were leaked throughout, and haven't changed despite the clear facts being presented time after time—which prove there was nothing."

 

He went on to add that the bill "is right and necessary, and now that it has been made clear it has no bearing on my personal affairs, I expect all members of the coalition to support it."

 

Amsalem, who proposed the bill, said he respected the prime minister's request, "despite the fact that excluding him from the bill will turn this bill into a personal one."

 

In a Facebook post, Amsalem said he will consult with coalition chairman David Bitan and the heads of the coalition parties to make the necessary changes.

 

MK David Amsalem, who proposed the bill (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
MK David Amsalem, who proposed the bill (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

 

He also expressed concern of "grave and worrisome things that have been happening here in recent weeks. People at the top of law enforcement authorities and the police have been working on all levels to foil this bill, while trampling on public norms. I have no doubt there would be grave consequences to this down the line, as it directly undermines the work of the Knesset."

 

Amsalem went on to claim his bill was meant to serve "the tens of thousands of citizens whose entire world collapsed on them because of the publication of (police) recommendations. It is an impossible thing to deal with and an inhuman situation, which makes their lives an ongoing nightmare until the prosecution makes a decision."

 

"Now that the prime minister has removed himself from the equation, I am convinced all of those who went out of their ways to thwart this bill will disappear and lose their voice, and the bill will enter the State of Israel's book of laws," he added.

 

Tens of thousands of people protested in Tel Aviv against the legislation and government corruption on Saturday night. There were also protests held in Haifa, Jerusalem, Rosh Pina and other cities.

 

Labor leader Avi Gabbay said on Sunday he was "happy the tens of thousands on the streets, our Knesset members who submitted hundreds of reservations, and my direct appeal to (Finance Minister) Kahlon and (Education Minister) Bennett has led to a change."

 

However, he noted, "We'll object to this corrupt bill even if it does not apply to the prime minister. This is a bill for the corrupted and against (police) investigators."

 

Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni also hailed the "victory of the just over the corrupted! A great victory for the public in Israel, which has proven we must not lose hope."

 

"Bibi, as always, even when he justifiably caves in, he goes to the trouble of inciting against law enforcement officials and the Israel Police, who have been working as mandated against government corruption without fear or bias. Contrary to Netanyahu, we are on the side of law enforcement officials and against corruption," she added.

 

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid determined Netanyahu's announcement "is an admission of guilt. The bill was tailor-made from the moment of its inception and was born in sin in Netanyahu's mind."

 

 

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