Blue and White flips stance, calls on Supreme Court to OK Netanyahu

Blue and White previously petitioned the Supreme Court to disqualify Benjamin Netanyahu, but now on the verge of entering into a unity government the party is calling on the court to approve him.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday accepted the Attorney General’s request to postpone his response to petitions asking the court to nullify the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the Blue and White Party headed by opposition leader Benny Gantz.

Both Likud and Blue and White had filed petitions with the court seeking to dismiss the requests from several groups asking the court to strike down the agreement that would see Netanyahu and Gantz share power in a national unity government. The Likud said that there is no place for judicial intervention in the agreement.

As part of the process, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has to provide the court with his legal opinion on the petitions, but Mandelblit pleaded with the court for an extension, saying that with the coronavirus crisis his office was overloaded with work.

The court accepted Mandelblit’s request and will give its ruling on Thursday at 2:00 p.m., Israel Army Radio reported.

Multiple petitions from other opposition parties and public interest groups have been filed in the past year asking the court to disqualify Netanyahu because of his pending trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of public trust. To date, the court has repeatedly turned those requests down.

Read  Law giving Ben Gvir expanded powers passes in Knesset, paving way for Netanyahu regime

Blue and White’s petition to the court said that although it acknowledged the severity of the criminal charges against Netanyahu, the unusual circumstances given the economic and health crises from the coronavirus pandemic made the formation of an emergency government of national unity a necessity.

For its part, Likud said the court has no place to intervene in what are political decisions since the law allows Netanyahu to serve in the Knesset so long as he has not been convicted of any crime.

“This honorable court does not interfere with the discretion of the president, the Knesset members and the Knesset in the constitutional process of establishing the government – the executive branch of the state – whose purpose is to fulfill the will of the people as expressed in the Knesset elections,” the Likud petition stated.