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  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 2020.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 May 2020
Opinion

"What is at stake is the rule of law," former Deputy District Attorney for Financial Crimes said.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power since 2009, will sit on the bench on Sunday in a corruption trial in which his freedom is not the only thing at stake.

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Shortly after the formation of his fourth government, Netanyahu is emboldened to trial since the Supreme Court chose not to prevent him from exercising his position although he is accused of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust in three different cases of corruption.

Even before the accusation was formalized, Netanyahu has led a campaign to discredit Justice, denouncing political persecution against him and even labeling it as a coup attempt.

These attacks targeted both institutions and specific individuals, such as the Chief of Police or the State Attorney General, who recently denounced anonymous threats against him and his children.

"Netanyahu has turned this into a vote of confidence in Justice," former Deputy District Attorney for Financial Crimes Yehuda Shaffer said, and added that "what is at stake is the rule of law and the confidence of the population in the judiciary."

Law professor Yuval Shany described Netanyahu's against Justice as a "total war".

"That the executive leader is commanding a crusade against Justice is very serious and can lead, eventually, to strong erosion of public confidence not only in the law but in the government," Shany said.

I have explained that there is a "basic incompatibility between Netanyahu's status as prime minister, responsible for countless decisions about Israeli public life, and his status as the accused of a crime aggressively fighting to weaken the institutions that accuse him."

Currently, Netanyahu faces three lawsuits popularly known as Cases 1000, 2000, and 4000. In the first one, he is suspected of accepting gifts worth over $ 260,000 in exchange for favors.

In Case 2000, the authorities are examining an attempted agreement with the outlet Yediot Aharonot's editor to achieve a more positive coverage of the Netanyahu administration in exchange for damaging the distribution of its rival newspaper Israel Hayom.

In Case 4000, Netanhayu is accused of favoring the Israeli phone company Bezeq in exchange for favorable coverage of himself and his family at the Walla outlet.

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