That evening, a recording surfaced of Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair partying in strip clubs and making lewd jokes. It produced a scandal. The prime minister was forced to respond, of course, to this affair. No doubt, it was a distraction — and from something important: According to reports, the same night the younger Netanyahu was exposed as an imbecile, the Israeli air force was attacking Syrian military installations, the kind of attack that most likely requires the prime minister’s authorization — and his attention.
.. The prime minister is under investigation for corruption.
.. when Ehud Olmert, Mr. Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, was in legal trouble. “No place of work — surely not the prime minister’s office — can afford a manager who spends most of his time consulting with his attorneys,”
.. He is suspected of illegally receiving gifts; he is suspected of negotiating a deal with a newspaper magnate in exchange for favorable coverage. His closest aides were investigated in connection with a corruption scandalconcerning the purchase of submarines from Germany.
.. All of our recent prime ministers faced criminal investigation:
- Mr. Netanyahu, during his first spell in office in the mid-1990s,
- followed by Ehud Barak,
- followed by Ariel Sharon,
- followed by Ehud Olmert.
For all of Israel’s great achievements in its seven decades of statehood, our country now finds its very future, identity and security severely threatened by the whims and illusions of the ultranationalist government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
.. this government has been irrational, bordering on messianic
.. The government realizes that carrying out its one-state plan must entail steps and practices that necessarily clash with Israeli and international law — which is why it has effectively declared war on
- the Supreme Court of Israel,
- the free press and civil society, as well as
- the Israel Defense Forces’ ethical code.
This disrespect for the rule of law permeates other aspects of the government, too. It helps to shield the prime minister, his family and his aides from corruption investigations. Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party recently introduced legislation that would explicitly forbid the police from recommending indictments at the end of high-profile investigations... there is a broad consensus among Israelis that rests on three pillars.
- First and foremost, security comes before everything; every Israeli understands this.
- Second, the unity, solidarity and integrity of the people take priority over the unity of the land — namely, the wish to possess the entirety of our historic homeland.
- Third, the principles of the 1948 Declaration of Independence, which lay out a vision for a democratic Israel based on freedom, justice and peace, are the foundation of our country’s de facto constitution... The entire debate, then, is actually only over the fate of the isolated settlements, fewer than 100 small communities deep in the West Bank, containing around 100,000 settlers. Even if it is not possible to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at this stage — and it probably is not — it is obvious that continued construction in those isolated settlements directly damages Israel’s vital interests... Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition claims to support the three pillars of Israeli consensus but the truth is it is determinedly undermining all three... He prefers a Greater Israel with an Arab majority, violence and division over a united, self-confident Israel with a solid Jewish majority.. He sanctifies the Land of Israel before the People of Israel. And he systematically erodes Israel’s democracy and liberal norms of governance... In the service of this agenda, Mr. Netanyahu elevated fake news, alternative facts and whataboutism into art forms in Hebrew, long before those terms gained any traction in English.