Netanyahu Goes on Air to Challenge Accusers
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took to the airwaves – and the offensive – to challenge prosecutors whose investigations of three corruption cases threaten the PM’s tenure. With elections scheduled for April 9, and given the belief the attorney general will announce a decision before the election to indict him but without time to allow Netanyahu to rebut the charges before election day, the prime minister used his national television appearance to demand the opportunity to confront his accusers and to do so before the public. One opposition politician called Netanyahu’s television speech “election propaganda,” while the Justice Ministry issued a statement defending the way the investigation has been conducted while noting that there is no legal requirement for witnesses to confront those against whom they are testifying. Other opposition figures echoed the characterization of the PM’s remarks as a campaign speech and called for his resignation, but an unofficial canvassing of Jerusalem pedestrians revealed broad agreement with the idea that fairness requires the opportunity for Netanyahu to present his side before the election if the voters hear the case against him prior to balloting.