By Caroline Glick, Jpost—
The ongoing criminal probes against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhahu are reaching their climax. After conducting a marathon four-day pre-indictment hearing for Netanyahu earlier this month, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reportedly intends to complete his review of the state prosecution’s cases and decide whether to indict Israel’s longest-serving prime minister by the end of next month. The main charges against Netanyahu relate to his associations with media owners.
For three years, illegal leaks from the investigations have dominated the news. The key question – indeed, just about the only question – that has been endlessly discussed is whether or not Mandelblit will end Netanyahu’s political career by indicting him on corruption charges.
The importance of this question is self-evident. On the one hand we have a democratically elected leader. On the other hand, we have unelected state prosecutors who wish to oust him from power by indicting him.
For nearly a year, Israeli politics have been in a state of chaos because of the criminal probes. The probes played a central role in the April Knesset elections and arguably were the primary reason that Netanyahu failed to form a coalition despite his electoral victory. Today the probes and Mandelblit’s deliberations are the primary reason that no one can form a government in the wake of last month’s repeat elections. If Israel holds a third election in the coming months, the probes will again be the central issue determining both the result and the ability of whoever wins to form a government. The center-left Blue and White party is using the probes as an excuse to refuse to join a coalition government with Netanyahu.
While the probes’ impact on Netanyahu’s political future is a key question, and on the composition of the next government is certainly a big deal, neither of these issues is the central matter than hangs in the balance as Mandelblit holds his deliberations. Continue Reading…