Majority of Israelis Say Netanyahu Should Suspend Himself if Indicted – Poll
Two-thirds of Israeli residents participating in a recent poll on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he should take a temporary leave of absence from his post if prosecutors indict him over allegations of wrongdoing.
The Israeli legal framework stipulates that PMs may leave office for 100 days in cases in which the PM is unfit to carry out the duties of the office, such as illness, but the self-suspension clause has never been invoked for another purpose, the Jerusalem Post reported on Friday.
Some observers say the charges could force Netanyahu out of office for good.
The wide-ranging probe involving charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust “definitely” has the potential to end the head of state’s eight years in office, journalist and filmmaker Dan Cohen told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.
Approximately 67 percent of residents said it would be “acceptable” for Netanyahu to suspend himself due to probe, according to a poll published in the Jerusalem Post on Friday. The survey was conducted jointly by Smith Consulting, the Post said.
Speaking from Greece on Thursday, Cohen noted Netanyahu has been “incredibly apt in maneuvering his way through” previous scandals. But this time may be different.
Perhaps the most potent charge “that may really take him down” concerns Netanyahu’s relationship to the media, Cohen said. “Basically Netanyahu struck a deal with the publisher of Israel’s second most widely-read newspaper,” Yedioth Aharonot, to get more favorable coverage in exchange for a move to “cut” the weekend editions of the first most widely-read newspaper in Israel, Israel Hayom, the journalist explained.
Netanyahu allegedly made this offer via his close relationship with Israel Hayom publisher, Sheldon Adelstein.
Reports broadcast on Israeli TV stations in January quoted Yedioth Aharonot publisher Anon Mozes telling Netanyahu, “If you and I agree on a law, I will do everything I can for you to be here for as long as you want. I’m looking you in the eyes and telling you this in the clearest way possible.”
His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.
His favored areas of study include state-sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.