Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared in court on Monday at the start of his long-awaited corruption trial, and on the other side of the city, rival parties began negotiations to try again after another election was deadlocked. Form a government.
As Israel struggles to deal with the reality of the prime minister, law and political procedures are intertwined, the prime minister is being prosecuted-and unable to form a stable government in two years-but still received the most votes so far in the election on March 23 .
The 71-year-old Netanyahu crossed his arms and the prosecutor gave his opening speech on the grounds of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. The core of their case was that he offered compensation to powerful businessmen for illegal benefits in exchange for positive media coverage.
Chief Public Prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari said: “The case that occurred in the glorious court today is a major case of government corruption. She accused the prime minister of “using the power of the office to advance his personal wishes.” , And said that the prosecutor will show evidence of the “tapestry.”
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Netanyahu denied any wrongdoing and condemned the prosecution as a politically motivated “witch hunt.” The Prime Minister listened to the prosecutor’s opening statement, but left before the witness testimony began.
As the trial progressed, dozens of protesters who supported Netanyahu and opposed Netanyahu gathered outside the Jerusalem District Court. Netanyahu’s supporter Mel Azazar said: “I’m here to support, support and strengthen my great leader.”
When Netanyahu’s bodyguard entered the court with him, there were a large number of police officers around the building. Trials will run three days a week, and it may take several weeks for a panel of three judges to make a verdict. There is no jury.
A few miles away, Israeli President Leuven Rivlin began meeting with representatives of the party that won the election last month. Election-Israel’s fourth election in two years-Netanyahu’s right-wing group or the opposition coalition determined to put him on the table did not get a majority.
The role of the president is usually ritual. But because the election did not have a clear result, Rivlin should decide who should get the first chance to form a government.
Even when he started the process, Rivlin was still pessimistic about the chance that anyone could unite into a majority.
In his public comments, he said: “At the moment, I don’t see a way to build an alliance.” He added: “After four elections, democracy is exhausted.”
If no one can form a coalition, Israel will have its fifth general election since April 2019, which will continue in a period of unprecedented political chaos in the Jewish state.
Netanyahu’s Likud party emerged from the election with 30 seats and became the largest party to date. However, even with the support of several nationalists and religious groups, Netanyahu still has only the 61 seats he needs to form a majority government.
President Likud’s delegation was led by Attorney General Amir Ohana, who pointed out that despite the charges against Netanyahu, more than 1 million Israelis still voted for Netanyahu . He said: “I think they expressed a high level of trust in him, but a lack of trust in others.”
The second largest party after Likud is the centrist Yesh Atid, who won 17 seats. The leader of the party, former journalist Yair Lapid, was supported by the smaller Liberal Party, but failed to unite the anti-Netanyahu coalition under his leadership.
“When we have a prime minister who is now defending himself in court, we need a candidate who works for the State of Israel,” said Ona Babiwi, head of the Yesh Atid presidential delegation. Orna Barbivai) said.
Rivlin is expected to decide on Wednesday whether to delegate the task to Netanyahu, Rapide or others. Anyone selected will have 28 days to try to form a majority government.
The surprising general election was that a small Islamic party called the United Arab Emirates won four seats and may maintain a balance of power in the next Knesset. Both the Netanyahu group and the opposition have pleaded with the party, hoping to win their support.
However, in the complex Israeli political puzzle, winning the support of Arab parties may alienate other Jewish parties, which means that potential leaders may gain support in one direction and only lose the other.