Daniel Halliday
Mar 13 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
What effect will Netanyahu’s indictment have on the upcoming Israeli elections?
Since 2017 Benjamin Netanyahu has been under investigation for several cases of corruption and bribery involving the alleged receipt of large scale benefits from international businessmen, and a deal to manipulate legislation to benefit a news media group in return for favourable coverage. Israel’s attorney general has announced plans to indict Netanyahu following a hearing, possibly causing Netanyahu to become the first prime minister in Israeli history to be charged with a crime while in office. But what does this mean for the upcoming election and the wider political situation in Israel and the region?
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The indictment is a hurdle that Netanyahu is unlikely to clear
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Not a lot according to opinion polls
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0 disagrees
Negative effect on Netanyahu, but a positive one for justice in Israel
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0 disagrees
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The indictment is a hurdle that Netanyahu is unlikely to clear

Netanyahu is desperately trying to twist the indictment as a liberal political tactic to diminish his standing before the election, but this remains a questionable narrative considering the indictment comes from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, a former aide to Netanyahu. While party opinion polls look favourable to Netanyahu, personal opinion polls see Netanyahu tied with his main rival Benny Gants, prompting Gantz to call on Netanyahu to resign. Many analysts, such as Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institute, have recognised this as posing “a real challenge” to Netanyahu, and Trumps clear effort to interfere with Israeli popular opinion by recognising Golan Heights as Israeli territory reflects this clearly. Such a large and destabilising manipulation of the political narrative is a clear effort to sway the election in Netanyahu’s favour, but the widespread negative press and international criticism may prove this to be an ineffective move. jpost.com/Israel-News/Sara-Netanyahu-indicted-for-fraud-560550

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Not a lot according to opinion polls

According to Israel’s Channel Ten opinion poll, Netanyahu’s Likud party will still win in the upcoming election, despite the recent indictment brought against him. Netanyahu has labelled this indictment a liberal witch-hunt, and his lawyers have slated the indictment of a sitting president as a severe blow to the democratic process. Despite this though and despite it being a tightly contested election, it seems like the indictment has not dealt a decisive blow to Netanyahu, especially following Trump’s clear last minute boost to Netanyahu’s image, recently recognising Golan Heights as Israeli territory. hamodia.com/2019/01/01/mandlelblit-decide-netanyahu-indictment-elections timesofisrael.com/poll-netanyahus-likud-would-remain-biggest-party-despite-corruption-probes thehill.com/homenews/administration/435192-trump-denies-trying-to-help-netanyahu-reelection-with-golan-heights

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Negative effect on Netanyahu, but a positive one for justice in Israel

The effect this indictment will have could be an overall positive one in what might be the start of much needed justice and the prosecution of crimes in a right wing, authoritarian, war mongering, human rights abusing Israeli government and military. That is on the basis that it leads to further legal action being taken against the much more serious issues of the war crimes carried out by Israeli forces in the Gaza strip in 2018, recognised as such by Human Rights Watch, which if possible would be the start of many such hearings. Regardless of the wider case for justice in the region, Netanyahu has been implicated in multiple previous cases and according to polls the indictment would have real consequences on opinion turning against him, making re-election for 5th term unlikely. msn.com/en-us/news/world/what-netanyahus-indictment-means-for-israeli-elections/ar-BBUeXSd hrw.org/news/2018/06/13/israel-apparent-war-crimes-gaza

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