Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Is democracy the first casualty in war on PM (update)

(Last updated: February 14, 2018)

Finally, after more than eighteen months of rumor, innuendo, media and political attacks against Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged crimes and ethics violations, police tonight have made an announcement. They will recommend the PM be indicted for bribery and something called 'breach of trust'.

Of course, most of us understand that a recommendation to indict isn't the same thing as an indictment--and an indictment isn't the same thing as guilt. A recommendation to indict means that, supposedly, police investigators believe they have collected sufficient evidence to ask for an indictment. 

That's how a democracy works. Police investigate. Police recommend. The legal system decides what to do next. 

Like other democracies, this is exactly how Israel's law works. 

Unfortunately, not all Israeli politicians understand this most basic of civics concepts. Already, one politician from the far-Left Meretz Party has spoken out against Netanyahu--and reveals an appalling ignorance of how the law works--and how a democracy is supposed to work. 

The politician, MK Tamar Zandberg, has called on Netanyahu to resign because of the police announcement. She confuses 'recommendation' with 'go to jail'--and is quoted as saying, "A prime  minister goes to jail, this is a sad day for democracy" (Tamar Pileggi, "Opposition MK demands PA resign as police recommend indictment for bribery", timesofisrael, February 13, 2018). Therefore, she is quoted as saying, he should resign tonight (that is, immediately) (ibid). 

Netanyahu has not been indicted--as least, not yet. He's not gone to trial--at least, not yet. He's not been found 'guilty as charged'--at least, not yet.

In a democracy, a person is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. If Israel's Leftists--who love to cry how devoted they are to 'democracy'--really are devoted to 'democracy', they should be the first to demand that Netanyahu be given the same right as everyone else in Israel: he should be considered innocent until the courts prove otherwise. 

A 'sad day for democracy' (to quote the lady's words) occurs not when police recommend a PM be indicted (such a recommendation--and an indictment--could be political), but when a devotee of 'democracy' doesn't understand even the basics of 'democracy'. 

That's a very sad day for the survival of any democracy. To see a devoted, 'democracy'-loving Leftist use 'recommend to indict' as 'sent to jail' suggests that Israel's Left may actually have no clue whatsoever how a democracy works. 

This ignorance--and this Leftist attack on Netanyahu--suggests a question: could Israel's 'democracy' become one of the first casualties in what some call a war on Benjamin Netanyahu?

Stay tuned. This movie has just begun.

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