PM: Probes won’t bring me down

Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - • By GIL HOFF­MAN

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu promised Mon­day that he would re­main in of­fice de­spite his crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions that ap­pear to be in­ten­si­fy­ing.

Speak­ing in a spe­cial Knes­set ses­sion re­quested by the op­po­si­tion, in which he was re­quired to lis­ten to crit­i­cal speeches by op­po­si­tion MKs, Ne­tanyahu mocked his crit­ics and vowed to out­last them.

“Prime min­is­ters are re­placed in bal­lot boxes,” Ne­tanyahu said.

When Zion­ist Union fac­tion head Yoel Has­son heck­led him, say­ing, “And cor­rupt prime min­is­ters go home,” Ne­tanyahu turned to him and said, “The pub­lic has de­cided again and again that I will be prime min­is­ter and stand here, and you will sit there.”

In the de­bate that was fo­cused on diplo­matic is­sues, op­po­si­tion MKs blamed Ne­tanyahu for the lack of progress in the diplo­matic process with the Pales­tini­ans. Op­po­si­tion leader Isaac Her­zog told Ne­tanyahu that had he,

Ne­tanyahu, been prime min­is­ter at the time, he would have re­jected the peace of­fer from Egyp­tian leader An­war Sa­dat.

Ne­tanyahu re­sponded that op­po­si­tion MKs just want him to with­draw from land in Judea and Sa­maria. He said he has re­ceived let­ters re­cently prais­ing him from the lead­ers of the US, China, and Ja­pan and an in­vi­ta­tion to visit In­dia.

“There is a diplo­matic re­nais­sance,” Ne­tanyahu said. “We’re not miss­ing diplo­matic op­por­tu­ni­ties. We’re creat­ing diplo­matic op­por­tu­ni­ties. We are be­com­ing a ris­ing in­ter­na­tional force. You can’t sweep it un­der the rug.”

Meretz MK Michal Rozin, who ini­ti­ated the spe­cial ses­sion, re­sponded by heck­ling that Is­rael was suf­fer­ing from a “re­nais­sance of cor­rup­tion.”

Has­son said that one day Ne­tanyahu will look back at more than a decade in of­fice as a pen­sioner and will not be able to count a sin­gle ac­com­plish­ment. Ne­tanyahu re­sponded that were it not for what Is­rael has done un­der him, Iran would have nu­clear weapons by now.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid lamented that Ne­tanyahu had fallen from be­ing a states­man­like leader to one fac­ing mul­ti­ple crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and a staff in and out of po­lice ques­tion­ing. He slammed Ne­tanyahu for not sup­port­ing the at­tor­ney-gen­eral, state comp­trol­ler, and po­lice in­spec­tor-gen­eral that he had ap­pointed when they have faced re­cent at­tacks.

Left-wing ac­tivist El­dad Yaniv, who ini­ti­ated the an­ti­cor­rup­tion ral­lies in Pe­tah Tikva a year ago, slammed the op­po­si­tion for miss­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Knes­set ses­sion.

“Bibi is screwed into his chair, re­quired to lis­ten, and the op­po­si­tion gath­ered 40 sig­na­tures for a spe­cial ses­sion, but most of the op­po­si­tion MKs are not in the room,” Yaniv com­plained on Twit­ter. “They go up, one af­ter an­other and beg: When will there be a diplo­matic process? They say ‘We will sup­port you’ as if there are no in­ves­ti­ga­tions and ev­ery­thing is nor­mal. Dishrags.” •

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