Blue and White threatens to stop Netanyahu from running

Netanyahu: Strange manifestations at protests

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Home Front Command, August 4, 2020 (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Home Front Command, August 4, 2020
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allows an election to be initiated, Blue and White will join opposition parties in passing a bill that would prevent Netanyahu from running, sources in Blue and White warned on Tuesday.
The bill would prevent anyone with a criminal indictment on serious charges from forming a government. Netanyahu is under indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, so the bill could end his political career.
The legislation is considered a weapon of last resort for Blue and White if the party cannot stop Netanyahu from using a fight over the state budget to enable another general election before his criminal trial intensifies in January.
Channel 13 reported that Blue and White is also threatening to pass the bill if Netanyahu allows his Likud MKs to vote for the controversial Supreme Court override bill in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Blue and White said she could not confirm the report.
The Supreme Court override bill, proposed by Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked, is one of multiple bills that could cause problems for Netanyahu’s coalition at the Knesset on Wednesday. There will also be votes on initiating a commission of inquiry for the Submarine Affair and another to probe alleged police brutality against protesters.
Netanyahu will have to attend a special hearing in the Knesset plenum at the request of 40 opposition MKs. The prime minister will have to listen to them for an hour and then respond to them. The special hearing, which will focus on the socioeconomic situation, was initiated by the Meretz faction.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to the IDF’s Homefront Command, Netanyahu answered a question about the state budget by saying that a budget needed to be passed immediately without connection to politics.
“I have no intention of breaking up the government, and I have no intention of initiating an election,” he said.
But he raised speculation that he actually does intend to initiate an election when he made what appeared to be a campaign stop at a felafel restaurant near the IDF base.
Speaking to reporters at the base, Netanyahu declined to condemn his son, Yair, for referring to protesters against the government as “aliens.” Netanyahu was asked to respond to his son saying that he shows his father scenes from the demonstrations to entertain him.
“They are political left-wing protests fueled by left-wing organizations and unfortunately encouraged by the media,” the prime minister said. “There are strange phenomena with non-stop incitement against me, my wife and my family. There are even direct calls for murder that are barely reported. These phenomena are what my son referred to.”
Netanyahu said the country should be worried about the “incitement from top-rank politicians.”  He said “governments are replaced only in the ballot box,” not demonstrations.
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz told Ynet on Tuesday that the protesters are “anything but aliens – they are citizens worthy of respect and appreciation.”
Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded to Netanyahu by saying that “what is truly a strange manifestation is a government with 36 ministers [there are 34] at a time of an economic crisis with 21% unemployment and a million shekels in tax benefits for a prime minister, when people do not have what to eat.” He said a prime minister with three grave criminal indictments was also a strange manifestation.
“We cannot compete with strange manifestations,” Lapid said. “This disconnected government is one of the strangest and worst manifestations in the history of the state.
The Black Flag protest movement responded that “the worst prime minister in the history of the State of Israel is continuing his panic attacks but we will continue to see him outside [his official residence] on Balfour Street.”
Yair Netanyahu referred to the various protesters against his father, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as “aliens” in an interview to Galey Israel Radio on Monday.
“I let him see select parts,” Yair said when asked about whether the two watch the videos together. “I try and not show him the obscene things, because that would be unpleasant, but you know, he finds it entertaining, gives him a bit of strength even.”
After Yair Netanyahu was ordered by the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday to remove a Facebook post with the addresses of organizers of the demonstrations, the anti-Netanyahu movement Crime Minister said on Tuesday that it would return to the court, because the prime minister’s son had not yet removed the post.