Opinion: The prime minister remains a strong political force despite the charges against him and it is the voters who will now decide whether he should continue to lead the country

This is not the end of democracy and the Knesset has not become a safe haven for criminals. We can all relax. The immunity law was in place before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will stay on the books after he leaves.

On Wednesday, when the prime minister announced he will be seeking parliamentary immunity, he was simply making use of the law available to him – and that is his legitimate right.

הצהרתו של בנימין נתניהו בעניין בקשת החסינות מהעמדה לדין
Prime Minister Netanyahu announces he is seeking immunity from prosecution (Photo: Rafi Kotz)


It seemed that the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history is a magician of sorts.
Even his proponents – some of whom were convinced his political career was nearing its end because of the criminal charges against him – were surprised.

But so far, our very own Houdini has triumphed spectacularly and opinion polls conducted in the days leading up to his decision to request immunity show he may just win the March 2 election and form the next government.

It is hard to argue that the request for immunity is a display of high moral values, but such is the nature of politics and the prime minister is operating within the boundaries of the accepted rules of the game.

Ehud Olmert resigned as prime minister due to corruption allegations in September 2008 and before any charges were brought, but his decision to step down was not born of concern for the rule of law.

Olmert resigned as prime minister because his political standing had taken a beating and he found himself without any friends.

Netanyahu is cut from a different cloth. He uses all tools at his disposal to their maximum potential, and as if by magic, his political standing remains as strong as ever.

כנס התמיכה בבנימין נתניהו לקראת הפריימריז לראשות הליכוד

The decision to request immunity has a positive outcome as well. Power is now returned to the voters.

Elections are upon us and as people vote next March, they will do so with full knowledge of the charges against candidate Netanyahu. If he is elected to lead once again it will be a clear manifestation of the will of the people.

All we can now hope for is that if the prime minister’s bid to be granted immunity is turned down, he will respect the decision and accept it.

As reported by Ynetnews