Netanyahu operating amid ‘political tsunami,’ professor says

Hebrew University Professor Avraham Diskin has long respected the prime minister, but says Netanyahu is making mistakes while confronting a “judicial oligarchy.”

By: Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

Taking to Facebook Sunday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while the controversial ‘Recommendations Bill’ – forbidding police from recommending indictments against public figures – was “appropriate and necessary,” he has asked that it be amended. The reason, he explained, was to avoid the impression that the law had been tailored to protect him personally from current police probes.

The bill has now been delayed by at least a few days due to a political storm caused by its introduction. Opponents include an array of critics alleging that the bill was designed to protect Netanyahu from fallout in two corruption investigations.

In the past, Netanyahu has consulted with Hebrew University Political Science Professor Avraham Diskin for advice on complicated political matters.  Without saying if he was consulted in this particular instance, Diskin told World Israel News (WIN) that Netanyahu and his Likud party should drop the bill because it serves no purpose and brings only “criticism, ridicule and a virtual political tsunami.” According to Diskin, “There is already a basic law which states that the prime minister must resign only after being  convicted, and then only if the crime carries with it a charge of moral turpitude.”

‘Facts mean nothing to the judges’

Diskin is angry at what he views as the dishonesty of two former Supreme Court judges who have said that if indicted, Netanyahu is obligated to resign. According to Diskin, “The former judges are misleading the public. The facts seem to mean nothing to the judges. This is not democracy, it’s a judicial oligarchy.”

Knesset sources say the bill is now likely to be delayed for at least a week, and could end up being shelved altogether.  Netanyahu, however, does not seem to support the shelving of the proposal. “The recommendations law is a good law. It protects human dignity, and the bill clarifies the distinction in a democracy between the role of the police and the role of the legal echelons,” Netanyahu wrote.

“Legal officials are the only ones authorized to decide whether to indict someone. This law would prevent publicizing the police recommendations, something that happens regularly and places a cloud of suspicion on innocent people,” he added.

The delay of the bill follows a large anti-corruption rally Tel Aviv Saturday night in which an estimated 20,000 protesters called on Netanyahu to resign.