Opinion: The prime minister is motivated only by his need to save his own skin and avoid a criminal trial and perhaps even a jail sentence, while any ideological consideration or concern for the national interest is nowhere to be found

Thirty years ago, then-Labor leader Shimon Peres tried to remove the Likud prime minister Yitzhak Shamir from office in a deal with the religious parties in what became known in Israeli politics as the “dirty trick.”

The attempt failed despite an agreement Peres had made with a young Aryeh Deri, who today serves as interior minister and the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, who ultimately went back on his word.

בנימין נתניהו כנסת חיטוי מיקרופון
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disinfects the microphone before addressing the Knesset, May 2020 (Photo: AFP)


In hindsight, that attempt, which was seen at the time as a low point in Israeli politics, appears to be no more than innocent child’s play.

Benjamin Netanyahu has shown during his tenure as prime minister, and increasingly so in recent months, that there is no trick in the book, no scare tactic, deception or deceit that he will not use in order to save his own skin and hold on to power, regardless of the cost to Israelis and the country.

After his indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the prospect of a criminal trial and maybe even a jail sentence are the motive for his political machinations.

הפגנה בירושלים
Protesters demonstrate against Prime Minister Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)


Ideology and the national interest are gone from his considerations.

The Knesset on Wednesday voted down a bill that would have prevented a politician under indictment for criminal offenses from leading the country.

The Blue & White party, which had vowed to promote the legislation before joining Netanyahu’s coalition four months ago, did not support it.

Their coalition agreement was predicated on ensuring that if forced to stand trial, Netanyahu would do so as a serving prime minister and facing a judiciary that had been systematically denigrated by his supporters in the media and on social media platforms.

Essentially, the leader of the country would be arguing in his defense that he was being persecuted for minor offenses by an illegitimate legal system that was manipulated by his political opponents.

נתניהו באולם בית המשפט
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in court in Jerusalem during his corruption trial earlier this year (Photo: Amit Shabi)


But there is a long list of people who have been lied to and mislead by Netanyahu, among them world leaders, Israeli politicians and even close allies.

Political agreements are often broken despite having some judicial oversight. It is unlikely that Netanyahu’s attempts to escape his commitment to a unity government would be halted by court intervention.

But Netanyahu’s deception is not only limited to such agreements. It has always been his modus operandi.

Such is his duplicitousness, we never know who stands in front of us at any given time. Is it Dr. Bibi or Mr. Netanyahu?

As reported by Ynetnews