Bennett says won't break up government until indictment - or conviction

Education Minister Naftali Bennett spoke out in favor of keeping the government together until the people vote otherwise.

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February 22, 2018 09:34
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Bennett

Netanyahu and Bennett. (photo credit: REUTERS,MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Education Minister Naftali Bennett told Army Radio Thursday “there is no dilemma” about breaking up the government, making it clear that even an indictment may not convince him to break up the government.

Bennet said governments should not be broken up over recommendations and accusations, and only after an indictment would he entertain an idea of breaking up the government.

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Likud members adopted the position on Wednesday that any talk of Netanyahu resigning would have to wait for a conviction in court.

He reasoned a national government is good for Israel, and on an ethical level, the public can decide Netanyahu's fate in election.

A new poll by Channel 10 taken on Wednesday evening saw Likud at 27 mandates - fewer than the 30 they currently hold, but up one since a similar poll taken earlier this week. The poll was the most recent since the recommendations issued against the prime minister.

In a statement sent to Bayit Yehudi members Thursday, Bennet said, "we continue to conduct the affairs of the state as usual."

"As I have said, moral issues are the discretion of the voter, and criminal matters will be decided in the law enforcement system. We very much hope that the prime minister will emerge free of all processes, for his own good and for the benefit of the State of Israel."

"To the best of my judgment, the prime minister is functioning properly, and we have a good national government that will continue to lead Israel," he added.
Israeli police recommend bribery charges against Netanyahu, February 13, 2018 (Reuters)

Netanyahu is currently under investigation in two separate corruption cases, two of which so far have led Israel Police to recommend his indictment.

In Case 1000, the “gifts affair,” it is alleged that Netanyahu improperly accepted expensive gifts from different businessmen.

In Case 2000, the “Yediot Aharonot affair,” Netanyahu allegedly negotiated with publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes for favorable coverage of himself in Yediot Aharonot in exchange for support of a bill to weaken Israel Hayom, the largest circulation Hebrew-language paper and Yediot’s biggest competitor.

Some of the prime minister's top aides are under investigation in two other cases, bringing a cloud of suspicion over Netanyahu.


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