Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Netanyahu does a Berlusconi

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being prosecuted for corruption. So how is he planning to avoid it? A law granting him immunity would not survive judicial scrutiny. So, he plans to remove that scrutiny entirely:

The new far-reaching bill would allow the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and government ministers to essentially ignore any High Court of Justice ruling, Haaretz revealed, including the potential revocation of Mr Netanyahu’s immunity.

According to the left-leaning daily, the move is written into a “legal appendix” of the coalition agreement and government guidelines Mr Netanyahu is currently drawing up as he builds a new coalition government after winning the April general election.


Anshel Pfeffer, an Israeli journalist, author and expert on Mr Netanyahu, sounded the alarm.

“The implication of this law, if it passes, will be that the High Court will lose its powers of judicial review over government actions, in any field, the military occupation, state and religion, etc. All this to save Netanyahu from being put on trial,” he wrote on Twitter.

This overturns a key plank of Israel's constitution, and all to protect a corrupt politician. Its reminiscent of the antics of Silvio Berlusconi, who for years manipulated Italy's laws and undermined its constitution to keep himself out of jail. Its not the sort of thing that decent democracies do. But then, neither is apartheid.