Israeli Knesset Votes Down Bill Requiring PM To Step Down While Under Indictment; Israeli Anti-Corruption Protestors Arrested Outside Netanyahu’s Home; Netanyahu Reaps Tax Break

The Israeli parliament has voted down a bill requiring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign. The Blue and White party was among the parties opposing the bill, despite supporting such legislation before joining Netanyahu’s unity government. Yair Lapid, Gantz’s former ally and leader of the opposition, mocked Gantz’s support for the bill, saying, “This is the original document of this bill that was signed and submitted in March. The first signature is Benny Gantz, and the second is Avi Nissenkorn, who is now the justice minister of Israel.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Meanwhile, hundreds of Israelis protested outside Netanyahu’s home, as part of continuing protests against government corruption. Seven protesters were arrested. Among them was a former Israeli air force brigadier general, Amir Haskel. Protesters were critical of the arrests, with one saying the police “pounced” on Haskel immediately after he gave a “patriotic” speech. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… The arrests swelled protests the following day, as thousands turned up in front of Netanyahu’s home. Among them were Yesh-Atid MKs Moshe Ya’alon and Mickey Levy. Many of the protesters demanded Haskel’s immediate release. Haksel had refused release under restrictive conditions and remained in custody. Reported by The Times of Israel. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Benny Gantz also criticized the arrests, telling the press before the weekly cabinet meeting that “Freedom to demonstrate, is in my opinion, a sacred right. Everyone who sits at this table believes in it. We must of course on the one hand allow people to continue to demonstrate, and on the other give backing to the Israel Police and the rule of law.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Despite Israel’s worst economic crisis in years, the Knesset Finance Committee approved retroactive tax breaks for Netanyahu amounting to about $1 million shekels. Reported Haaretz. Read more… The move has enraged Israelis struggling to make ends meet. In a Times of Israel report, one Tel Aviv resident called the decision “disgusting” in “light of the fact that there are so many people without a job now.” Some 800,000 Israeli’s are currently unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…Netanyahu, meanwhile, says that while the tax break was justified, the “timing was not the right time.” Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more…