Critics Charge Israeli “Recommendations Bill” Anti-Democratic
Critics of legislation that would retroactively provide legal shelter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as police pursue multiple corruption investigations against him are livid following Monday’s events in the parliament. The bill would forbid police from making recommendations on whether to indict a sitting prime minister under investigation during his term in office. The bill itself, which is being criticized for being what many are charging is anti-democratic, was made more odious to opponents when it was extended to apply retroactively to the cases pending against Prime Minister Netanyahu. But even that proved not to be the limit to which the PM’s parliamentary proxies were willing to venture despite the outcry. Member of Knesset Benny Begin, son of legendary Prime Minister Menachem Begin, was removed from the Internal Affairs Committee because he refused to support the bill and replaced by someone who would – and did. On Monday evening, the “Recommendations Bill” passed the first of three required readings in the parliament by a vote of 46 to 37 in a rancorous session. Despite the bill’s sponsor’s insistence that it was not created in order to save Netanyahu from prosecution, the fact that indictments might be handed down at any moment – and the prevalent assumption that the PM would have to step down if indicted – rendered it too much for many to believe.