Knesset parties who supported law allowing PMs to serve under indictment now change their tune

Labor, Meretz and the Arab parties supported a law allowing prime ministers to hold onto power while facing criminal charges. 

By World Israel News Staff

“Now it’s final: The prime minister cannot serve even one more day,” said Knesset member for the Democratic Union party and former Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg.

“He must resign this very evening. He has no mandate to run the state. If he does not do this no one should agree to sit in his government or his party. He should not run for election and cannot receive a mandate to form a government. He must leave public life immediately,” she said.

Zandberg, and others in her camp, have a short memory.

Israel Hayom reports on Tuesday that the party she led, Meretz, along with the Labor party and Arab parties, supported a law allowing prime ministers to serve while facing criminal proceedings.

Basic Law: the Government was approved on March 7, 2001. It included a clause allowing a prime minister to hold office while facing criminal charges until a final ruling by the Supreme Court.

The law passed 72 to 37 in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

Among the supporters, Israel Hayom reports, were 18 members from the Labor party, such as Shimon Peres, Avraham Shochat and Avraham Burg. Six Knesset members from the extreme left-wing Meretz party also supported the law.

Today, they have changed their tune.

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Amir Peretz, leader of the Labor Party, said following the indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “In a democracy we cannot tolerate a prime minister under indictment. The political crisis in Israel is only due to his indictments. If we can prevent Netanyahu from clinging to power, we will be able to prevent a third election in under a year.”

Ironically, Israeli Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman, who did not support the Knesset law in 2001, said the legal proceedings must be given a chance to play out.

“We have to allow the justice system to do its work and give the prime minister the opportunity to prove his innocence in court,” he tweeted.