(photo credit: REUTERS)
Labor MK Erel Margalit's effort to use the Supreme Court to force a criminal investigation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's role in the submarine scandal advanced a stage Tuesday when an online petition signed by some 20,000 people was sent to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
The letter included a notice of an upcoming Supreme Court petition against Mandelblit's decision to merely check allegations of wrongdoing by Netanyahu and his confidant David Shimron rather than open a criminal investigation. Such a warning letter must be sent two weeks before petitioning the Court.
"This scandal court end up being one of the worst in the history of the state," Margalit and attorney Eldad Yaniv wrote Mandelblit. "The only reasonable decision would be to open a full criminal investigation against Netanyahu, Shimron and others involved."
Margalit and Yaniv said they would wait for a response from Mandelblit before petitioning the court.
But meanwhile, volunteers will be sent to train stations and malls throughout the country in an effort to seek more signatories to the petition that has been published on the website www.bbwanted.co.il. Everyone who signs the petition urging a criminal probe of Netanyahu will be part of the case.
Labor secretary-general Hilik Bar lashed out at Margalit on Tuesday for his recent attacks on party chairman Isaac Herzog. Margalit slammed him in an Army Radio interview Monday, calling him "not relevant at all" and that he is "not the opposition to Netanyahu but his coalition in waiting."
Bar wrote in a What'sApp message to Margalit that he claimed to have sent inadvertantly to the entire Zionist Union faction that his attacks on Netanyahu were more appreciated than his criticism of Herzog.
"One can love or not love your campaign against Bibi," Bar wrote. "But I recommend that you lower the volume (and quickly) in your obsessive personal effort to humiliate the chairman of the party. It not only does not help you, it hurts our party that you want to lead. This is not the way one acts if one cares about the party and not just himself. You are hurting all of us and it is starting to get to be too much."
Margalit responded that Bar should join his effort against Netanyahu "instead of engaging in nitpicking maneuvers and internal conflicts."
Meanwhile, Shelly Yacimovich received good news from a Panels Politics Poll that was broadcast on the Knesset Channel. The poll asked the general public and people who identify themselves as Center-Left who they would like to see lead the Zionist Union bloc, which includes Labor and Hatnua.
Among people who identify as Center-Left, Yacimovich finished first with 27%, followed by Tzipi Livni with 16%, former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi 15%, Herzog 10% and Margalit eight percent.
Yacimovich was also the top choice for the job of Histadrut Labor Federaction chief. She has not yet decided which of the two posts to seek.
The poll of more than 500 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli population was conducted Sunday and had a margin of error of 4.4%.