Gantz warns Netanyahu becoming ‘Israeli Erdogan’

'This is a critical moment for democracy, and people must wake up,’ says Blue and White leader at campaign rally in Ramat Gan

Blue and White leader speaking at a campaign rally in Ramat Gan Tuesday night (photo credit: ELAD MALKA)
Blue and White leader speaking at a campaign rally in Ramat Gan Tuesday night
(photo credit: ELAD MALKA)
Blue and White Party leader MK Benny Gantz warned on Tuesday night of the possibility that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will try to pass legislation retroactively granting himself immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, saying the March 2 election has become a critical moment for Israeli democracy.
Netanyahu has given contradictory answers as to whether he will seek retroactive immunity legislation if he manages to form a new government, while his right-wing, religious and ultra-Orthodox allies appear inclined to support it.
“This is a critical moment for democracy, and people must wake up,” Gantz declared at a campaign rally in Ramat Gan Tuesday night.
“We are likely to get here a prime minister who is the Israeli Erdogan, working for himself,” said Gantz in reference to the Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan who changed the country’s constitution to keep himself in power.
“The state of Israel needs a prime minister and not an [Middle Eastern-style] chieftain. If Netanyahu wins, his trial will be postponed, they’ll find a reason for it, then in the postponement period they’ll find a law which will let Netanyahu escape from the court and in order that this law will not be struck down they’ll pass a Supreme Court override bill as well. This is the plan,” claimed Gantz.
On Monday, Netanyahu said in one radio interview regarding immunity legislation, known as the “French law” that “when we get to that bridge we’ll see what happens,” but in a later interview the same day then said that he was not considering such a law.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Yamina party leader and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett refused to rule out giving his backing to immunity legislation for Netanyahu.
Shas leader and Interior Minister Arye Deri told Walla News on Tuesday that there was no need for an immunity law since current Israeli law allows the prime minister to continue to serve until there is a final ruling by Israel’s highest court.
Asked what would happen if the High Court of Justice rules that Netanyahu is not legally able to form a new government, Deri responded: “If there will be a ruling by the court, or if someone files a petition and the court gives a new law that Netanyahu cannot be prime minister, then we will ensure that he can continue to be prime minister.”
Netanyahu’s trial for three corruption cases will begin in the Jerusalem District Court on March 17, two weeks after the March 2 election.


Tags corruption