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Bibi Indicted

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Look back, not forward:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was formally charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust on Thursday, making him the first Israeli premier to be indicted while in office and sending Israel’s already stalemated political system into further disarray.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit capped almost three years of investigation and months of speculation by issuing a 63-page indictment against the country’s longest-serving prime minister and its center of political gravity for the last decade.

The cases against Netanyahu center on allegations that the prime minister and his wife, Sara, accepted more than $260,000 worth of luxury goods in exchange for political favors and that Netanyahu interceded with regulators and lawmakers on behalf of two media companies in exchange for positive news stories.

Indicting a demonstrably corrupt public official — seems like a great idea!

I will defer any further commentary to Abigail, although I cannot resist quoting Twitter’s finest account:

…Abigail in comments:

To repeat myself from yesterday: this is far from the end of the story. There are still a variety of legal tricks that could allow Netanyahu to either receive immunity from prosecution or delay any progress with this prosecution for months. That’s been his game since the entire process began several years ago, and he’s been aided in it by Mandelblit, who clearly didn’t want to be the guy who handed down an indictment against a Likud prime minister, but wasn’t sufficiently in the cult to ignore the overwhelming evidence in front of him.

And then, of course, there’s the question of the (lack of) government, and the possibility of another election. A great depends on how the polls shake out in the next few days. If enough people in Likud become convinced that Bibi will be a millstone around their neck in the next election, they might dump him and agree to a unity government with Gantz. But they’ve remained good little cultists until now, so it’s hard to hope for a sudden blast of sanity.

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