Editorial

Gantz, Don’t Join a Netanyahu-led Government

Benny Gantz, head of the Kahol Lavan party, speaks at a memorial marking the 24th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in Tel Aviv on November 2, 2019.
Corinna Kern/Reuters

As part of the service Amir Ohana is providing his master, Benjamin Netanyahu, the justice minister used his immunity to expose in the Knesset a police investigative procedure that had been banned for publication. The procedure had been practiced on state witness Nir Hefetz during the investigation of the Netanyahu cases.

Channel 12 News was planning to report the irregular procedure the investigators allegedly carried out to exert pressure on Hefetz, but the police prevented it. The justice minister exposed Hefetz’s secret to the entire public, while accusing police of the heinous crime of threatening to expose that same secret if Hefetz didn’t cooperate with them.

The inevitable conclusion is that with “friends” like Ohana, Hefetz is better off with “enemies” like the police.

There is no place for disappointment with Ohana. All he did was carry out the task for which he was appointed. In his defense it could be said that at least he’s consistent in the utter contempt he shows the system in his stewardship. Already on his first day in office he shared his radical legal approach, declaring that “not every court verdict should be honored.”

Ohana’s move against Hefetz and the police is but another link in the long chain Netanyahu is winding around the law enforcement system’s neck to intimidate it on the one hand, and undermine the public’s confidence in it on the other.

Netanyahu is continuing to advance the thesis that the left, the media, academia, the justice system, the attorney general, the president, Gideon Sa’ar, the state prosecution, the BDS movement, George Soros and the police conspired to topple him by a legal putsch, built on framing him for crimes.

It’s self-evident that the legal adviser and the attorneys dealing with the prime minister’s cases must not heed the threats and continue with their work. However, Kahol Lavan’s leader must also internalize the fact that Netanyahu is not a legitimate partner in government.

Benny Gantz, who is in the midst of coalition talks with Likud, will not be able to change Netanyahu, despite his good nature. He’d better listen to his partner Yair Lapid, who tweeted the plain truth this week: “Bibi and Ohana today brought shame on the government, on the state, mainly on themselves. This is how criminals behave, not ministers.”

Netanyahu, his unprincipled son and the dishonorable justice minister this week provided a reminder of Likud’s real character under Netanyahu’s leadership. Gantz must stick to his promise to the voters not to sit in the same government with this man.

The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.