Gesher draws line on Netanyahu-led coalition

Gesher joined Kulanu in differentiating between Netanyahu’s current legal woes, which would not prevent them from serving under Netanyahu, and a final indictment, which would be unacceptable.

MK Orly Levy-Abecassis of Gesher party, March 3, 2019 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
MK Orly Levy-Abecassis of Gesher party, March 3, 2019
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
MK Orly Levy-Abecassis’s Gesher party would join a government formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but would leave it if Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit indicts him following a hearing, she told her supporters in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
With that statement, Gesher became the final party to react to Mandelblit’s decision last Thursday to indict Netanyahu pending a hearing for bribery in one case, and fraud and breach of trust in that case and two others.
Blue and White, Labor, Meretz and Arab parties will not join a Netanyahu-led government at this stage in the legal process. Shas, United Torah Judaism, Yisrael Beytenu and the Union of Right-wing parties would remain in a Netanyahu-led government even after a post-hearing indictment. The New Right will only decide after seeing the indictment.
Gesher joined Kulanu in differentiating between Netanyahu’s current legal woes, which would not prevent them from serving under Netanyahu, and a final indictment, which would be unacceptable.
“Unlike regular citizens, public figures are not innocent until proven guilty,” Levy-Abecassis said. “They must have higher standards. Therefore, public figures facing charges against them cannot remain in their jobs.”
But she added that Netanyahu has a right to a hearing, and said that asking him to quit now would render the concept of a hearing meaningless.
“If he is indicted by the attorney-general after a hearing, Netanyahu must quit, and if he doesn’t we will have to make him,” she warned. “Gesher will not sit in a government under a prime minister who has been indicted for a crime.”
Although she did not mention him by name, Gesher would also be willing to sit in a government led by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.
“We will hold the balance of power in the next government,” Levy-Abecassis vowed.