Netanyahu’s Politics of Avoiding Indictment

President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, March 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, March 5, 2018, in Washington

If it turns out that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indeed seriously considering, or has already seriously considered, advancing elections, there could be three reasons for it.

The first has already emerged from his remarks: Netanyahu, given the escalating investigations against him, is seeking to ward off the blow and extort the coalition parties into not dissolving the government, even if he is indicted. If that’s the motive, one can assume there won’t be early elections. The coalition parties are apparently more afraid of elections than of the moral and ethical stain from their behavior, and Netanyahu’s exercise in extortion will leave them firmly ensconced in his government.

The second reason that could be moving Netanyahu toward early elections is the hope that a renewal of his mandate by masses of voters – resulting perhaps in an even higher number of Knesset seats than he has now – will deter the law enforcement agencies and attorney general from serving indictments against him. If the move also succeeds in diverting the public’s attention from the corruption allegations to election issues, that would be a nice bonus. Netanyahu certainly enjoys seeing his coalition members twisting in their seats.

The idea…

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