Likud MK: Those who ‘framed’ Netanyahu should be jailed for their ‘coup’

Likud MK Amsalem said he would demand to be the justice minister if the Likud wins election * Netanyahu said Ben Gvir would be a minister.

 Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Likud MK David (Dudi) Amsalem during a faction meeting, November 19, 2018. (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Likud MK David (Dudi) Amsalem during a faction meeting, November 19, 2018.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

The government should initiate a state commission of inquiry into the “framing” of Benjamin Netanyahu, and those involved should be jailed, Likud MK David “Dudi” Amsalem said Sunday.

“I have been following the Netanyahu trial from the beginning until the end. This is the framing of a reigning prime minister,” he said. “Those people need to sit in jail, from [former attorney-general Avichai] Mandelblit to [former state attorney] Shai Nitzan. What we saw here was a coup.”

During Amsalem’s KAN Reshet Bet interview, he also said he would demand the position of justice minister in the next government, should the Likud form it.

Amsalem also argued that Religious Zionist Party head MK Bezalel Smotrich’s copied his plan to “restart” the legal system.

"I proposed over 15 bills regarding reforming the legal system, including the demand to erase the crime of fraud and breach of trust. The Religious Zionist Party stole my bills."

MK Dudi Amsalem
 Likud MK David Amsalem being escorted out of the Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH) Likud MK David Amsalem being escorted out of the Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)

Smotrich said last week that the cancellation of the crime would not be retroactive and would not affect Netanyahu’s trial. Amsalem said in response, “I am not going into the issue of Netanyahu’s trial, a decision will be made when that becomes relevant.”

The Likud put out a statement after the interview, distancing itself from Amsalem’s comments.

“The views expressed by MK Amsalem are his own and are not binding. Any discussion on this or that reform will be conducted responsibly. No decision will be made that retroactively affects Netanyahu’s trial,” the party said.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said in response that Amsalem’s “words this morning demonstrate the depth of the insanity that has gripped the Likud. If this bunch, along with Smotrich and [MK Itamar] Ben-Gvir reach 61 seats in the election, they will take apart the State of Israel and all of its institutions,” Sa’ar said.

Yesh Atid said “‘Judge’ Dudi Amsalem wants to throw judges and clerks into prison, only because Bibi underwent criminal proceedings. The opposition to the country will destroy the law enforcement system so that Bibi escapes his trial.”

Netanyahu is currently standing trial on three counts of fraud and breach of trust and one count of bribery for attempting to ease regulations on certain media outlets in exchange for positive coverage.

Netanyahu would make Ben Gvir a minister if he wins

In other political news on Sunday, Netanyahu confirmed he had no problem with far-right MK Itamar Ben-Gvir becoming a minister in the next government.

“He definitely can [become a minister], anyone from the Religious Zionist Party can, but I believe he will be chosen,” Netanyahu said at a conference hosted by Channel 14.

In addition, Smotrich reiterated his position that he would not rule out demanding to receive the position of defense minister.

“The Defense portfolio has not been given to the ruling parties in all of the recent years, and us receiving it would be nothing new,” he said at a conference in Ganei Tikva.

Likud MK Yoav Gallant responded later on at the same conference, saying that “the Defense portfolio should belong to the ruling party, due to its national and strategic importance. Smotrich is a smart guy, he also understands that the Defense Ministry should be given to the most appropriate person,” Gallant said. Gallant retired from the IDF as a major-general and may be considered for the position.

The Labor Party is holding a rally on Saturday night in Jerusalem in memory of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated on November 4, 1995, by a right-wing extremist.

“Merav Michaeli is holding a rally in Rabin’s memory and claims to be his successor. Rabin would turn over in his grave. This is [what has become of] the Labor Party?” Arye Deri, leader of the Shas Party, said on 103 FM.

Michaeli responded, “Deri, if you really miss Rabin, come to the rally on Saturday. It will be a good opportunity to sweep away the lies and incitement of Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir against Rabin and his government, of which you were a part, and to tell your voters how you bravely passed the Oslo Accords together.”