'Netanyahu thinks if he is not in power, he will end up in prison'- Lapid

Lapid claimed that Netanyahu would use an election victory as a mandate to justify closing the investigations.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid speaking at the Movement for Quality Government in Israel conference (photo credit: MOVEMENT FOR QUALITY GOVERNMENT IN ISRAEL)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid speaking at the Movement for Quality Government in Israel conference
Politicians from across the political spectrum took aim at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his criminal cases at Monday’s conference in Modi’in of the anti-corruption watchdog group Movement for Quality Government.
The most fiery speech came from Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who warned that if Netanyahu emerges victorious, he will immediate pass a bill that would help him evade prosecution.
“He wants the elections to be about the investigations because if he wins, he believes he’ll have a mandate to shut down the investigations,” Lapid said. “He wants power because power gives him the ability to save himself. From his perspective, if he won’t be in power, he’ll end up in jail. So he wants to win and pass the laws that will stop him from being investigated.”
Lapid said that focusing the election on the probes was also Netanyahu’s way of preventing the election from being about problematic issues for him like the high cost of living. He accused Netanyahu of “panicking” and trying to intimidate the press, police, prosecution and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
“We cannot remain silent in the face of incitement,” Lapid said. “We have to stand against it without hesitation, without mincing words and with a knife between our teeth. Say what you want about Netanyahu, but he knows how to campaign – sharply, brutally and taking no prisoners. So that’s how we’ll face him: sharply, brutally and taking no prisoners.”
Minutes after Lapid said Netanyahu would respond to his attack by “lying and slinging mud,” the Likud released a statement accusing Lapid of conspiring with Yediot Aharonot to funnel government money to the newspaper in return for better coverage for the party.
The Likud did not respond to attacks by other party leaders on Netanyahu at the conference. Labor leader Avi Gabbay said “corruption cannot be fought without replacing the prime minister.”
Gabbay accused Netanyahu of promoting the candidacy of his former chief of staff David Sharan in Tuesday’s Likud primary, because police have recommended bribery charges against Sharan in Case 4000, also known as the “Submarines Affair,” and Netanyahu wants to help Sharan obtain immunity from prosecution by entering the Knesset.
Gesher leader Orly Levy-Abecassis told the conference that one of the ways to prevent corruption was to elect more women. She cited a study of 125 countries indicating that female politicians were less corrupt. She called for term limits in the country’s most powerful posts.
“The public coffers are being robbed in order to fill the pockets of powerful interest groups,” Levy-Abecassis said.