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Netanyahu Likely to Face Indictment Before Election

Analysts weigh in on risks and highlights

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18 Jan 2019 (All day)
Netanyahu Likely to Face Indictment Before Election
Israel’s Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit issued a statement late Thursday apparently rejecting a request from lawyers representing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a decision on whether or not to pursue corruption charges against Netanyahu be delayed until after elections scheduled for 9 April. Most political analysts agree that it is likely an indictment pending a hearing will be announced sometime in February. In other political developments, several parties launched their initial campaign videos on social media platforms Thursday, including a somewhat humorous statement by former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party.

Gantz’s campaign slogan, unveiled in the video, was “Israel before everything” and included a statement that he had “decided to reenlist” in public life four years after retiring from the IDF because he felt like he could make a positive change in the direction of the country. The Yesh Atid faction also posted a video featuring party leader Yair Lapid shredding files marked with the names of several unpopular budget items and laws passed by the Knesset in recent years, concluding with a declaration by the party that What they broke, we will fix.”

The videos were parodied in counter-videos put out by other parties, including Labor and Likud.

Finally, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who along with Education Minister Naftali Bennet recently broke with the Bayit Yehudi Party to form the “New Right” party, made a statement THursday in reaction to calls for her to step down in light of the “sex for judicial appointments” scandal involving Efi Nave, the recently resigned head of the Israel Bar Association and a close political ally of Shaked.

“In recent days, there has been an unrestrained false attack of incitement against me, including false and fabricated accusations,” she said at a legal conference in Jerusalem. “The left-wing political attacks will not weaken me. I plan to continue as justice minister for another four years until I finish the revolution I started.” She added that she was “disappointed” by attacks on her from female MKs from Left wing parties.

“They know me well. We disagree ideologically, but I saw them as work friends. They are all women. And this is what disappointed me. They have exploited this affair to make an ugly and personal political campaign against me.”

Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich, erstwhile leader of the opposition, responded by saying  “It is regrettable that instead of repenting for her sin, searching her soul and apologizing for her part in glorifying Efi Nave and placing unbridled power in his hands, Shaked is doing what she does best: attack. The stain is on the wall and it will not be erased. Her expectation that female Knesset members will not attack her simply because she is a woman is distorted.”

Here is a recent video giving some analysis of the upcoming Israeli elections

 

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