Mr. Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, on the developments in ongoing investigation and police recommendations concerning the Prime Minister:
“Unfortunately, our law enforcement agencies are no strangers to the situation of a senior public official operating under the cloud of a criminal investigation. Yet today those agencies are faced with an unprecedented attack on their competence and very legitimacy. Woe to us if we should allow the struggle over the fate of one man—senior though he may be—to erode the moral and institutional foundations of our law enforcement agencies. The Prime Minister is of course innocent until proven guilty. Only the Attorney General of Israel has the authority to decide whether or not to prosecute the Prime Minister, and therefore at this time, there is no legal impediment to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from continuing to serve as Prime Minister of Israel.
Notwithstanding, the facts revealed yesterday by the police, which are not contested by the Prime Minister himself, are deeply troubling. Faced with this reality, all those who consider themselves leaders in our community, including members of the government coalition, must come forth and make their position clear, rejecting such conduct forthrightly. Should such behavior come to be accepted as the norm for public servants, moral decay will spread through our civil service and the public’s trust in the government will plummet.”