Likud, Right May Boycott PM’s Immunity Hearing

YERUSHALAYIM -
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MK Miki Zohar (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Right-wing MKs may skip next week’s Knesset session to choose members of a committee that will hear appeals by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for parliamentary immunity on the corruption charges he faces, media reports said Tuesday. The plan provides for all 55 members of the right-wing/chareidi bloc to boycott the session.

The plan is being organized by Likud whip MK Miki Zohar, with the intention of showing that the discussion is a foregone conclusion – with the committee chosen certain to reject Netanyahu’s request for immunity. The committee will be chosen with support of the United Arab List – more evidence, Likud sources said, that Blue and White will be beholden to them if they form the next government.

The only Likud MK participating in the session, if the plan takes off, will be Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, who will chair the Knesset discussion. Edelstein has received a great deal of flack from within the party, with critics of his decision to convene the session accusing him of “playing into the hands of the left” and joining with it to topple Netanyahu. By doing so, Likud sources told Channel 13, Edelstein is “finished” in the party. If the Likud wins the election, “he will no longer be Speaker of the Knesset, and he will certainly not be a candidate for President,” an office Edelstein is said to be interested in, the sources said.

Speaking Tuesday, Zohar said that the convening of the session “is without question a very sad day for Israeli politics, and will go down forever as a day that Blue and White and the left debased the Knesset. They violated every rule possible in order to actualize their hatred for the Prime Minister. No democracy in the world has ever decided to violate the quiet period before elections in order to turn its parliament into a tool with which to play politics,” Zohar said.