25 October 2017

Kaya Netanyahu, Bibi and our barking lawmakers

A short time ago I, together with a lot of other Israelis, experienced a jaw-dropping event. A bunch of Knesset members were recalled from their vacation to vote for a new law that will... yes, that will allow Kaya Netanyahu, the First Dog, to stay at home after biting somebody (again).

We'll never know whether it was an isolated event of ridiculous ass-licking by some eager Likud mandarins or a trial balloon, meant to check the limits of that sanity envelope that is supposed (oh well...) to rule the behavior of our lawmakers. In any case, I have written then:

... I can already see a bill granting immunity to the incumbent PM being pushed through the Knesset by Bibi's faithful, whose number is legion. And I sincerely hope this attempt will fail.
And here we are, less than three months after that post was written, and the law is already in the works:
The proposed legislation to shield the prime minister from police investigations would constitute an amendment to Israel’s Basic Law: The Government. The new bill stipulates that criminal investigations against a sitting prime minister cannot be conducted for corruption, fraud or breach of trust.
MK David Amsalem, who proposed the bill, and Prime Minister Netanyahu
And yes, we know that the idea for the law in question isn't exactly new and stems from the so called "French law". The French law protects the incumbent president of France from investigations - while in the office. At least from investigations not directly related to his duties as a president. Why should we adopt a bad law here, remains unclear, though.

As you will be able to see in the linked Ynet article, not all coalition members are happy with the idea. Some MKs realize that it is not the usual left vs. right dogfight and are firmly (for now) against the law. Several amendments that allow a few investigations of Bibi, that are looming, to start, were added to mollify the objectors.

The opposition to the law, outside of the solid ranks of Likud, is quite strong. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is a staunch critic of the disastrous idea.
"A complete bar on the ability to investigate a serving prime minister, such as MK Amsalem proposes, fails to strike a balance between the various public interests and ignores the special mechanism currently stipulated in the Basic Law: The Government," Mandelblit writes, and warns that "the result to which the bill leads is extremely severe and unacceptable – there will be no power to investigate a serving prime minister, even if clear, specific evidence has come to light that gives rise to a suspicion of a serious act of bribery, for example, or other serious offences."
A scathing rebuke to the incessant mad lawmaking was voiced by no one but a loyal Likud member (in the past), president Rivlin.
Rivlin accused political leaders of weakening state institutions by attacking them for narrow political gain. “From the ‘political’ professional bureaucracy to the ‘political’ state comptroller, the ‘political’ Supreme Court ‘politicians,’ the ‘political’ security forces, and even the IDF, our Israel Defense Forces are ‘political;’ the whole country and its institutions – politics,” he said.
This doesn't seem to deter the boiling mad solons of a few ruling parties.
“There are judges in Jerusalem who have forgotten that there is also a government in Jerusalem,” said Bennett
Well, maybe it's time to create a new ministry, something in the line of "Netanyahu family laws Ltd"?

With Kaya Netanyahu as a minister?

Afterword: yes, and read this too.