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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves after addressing members of his right-wing party bloc at a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel November 17, 2019. REUTERS/Nir Elias

    Israeli Democratic Union Party Member: Departing Netanyahu 'Shatters Pillars of Democracy'

    © REUTERS / NIR ELIAS
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    While Netanyahu will always be remembered for his contribution to Israel's economy and defence, a member of Israel's left-wing Democratic Union Party thinks it's time for him to go. But that won't happen without a battle.

    Thousands flocked to central Tel Aviv on Tuesday night to express support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he continues to fight his legal battles.

    Last week, Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that he had decided to indict the premier in breach of trust, fraud and - in one case - even in bribery for his purported involvement in a number of graft probes including buying positive press and receiving illegal gifts from a rich donor. Netanyahu denies these allegations, while accusing left-wing politicians, the media and the judiciary system of a witch hunt.

    But Yair (Yaya) Fink, a member of the Democratic Union Party, considered left-wing in Israel's political arena, thinks that Netanyahu has not always been corrupt. 

    "He hasn't always been this way. But when you remain in your seat for a long period of time, you become a corrupt person," he said over the phone, stressing that during his decade-long rule Netanyahu did a number of good things for Israel.

    King Bibi

    Netanyahu is appreciated in the right-wing circles for his ability to confront terror and for the overhaul he did in the country's economy, transforming it from socialism oriented into a modern free-market economy. It was under Netanyahu that Israel made major breakthroughs in privatisation removing entire industries from government control and signing free trade agreements with a number of states including Turkey, Canada, Mexico and others.

    In foreign relations, Netanyahu is seen as a leader who built strong relations with Russia and established ties with countries that Israel had no diplomatic relations with - like Chad. 

    Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

    But, according to Fink, things went wrong. 

    "In the last several years Netanyahu started caring less about the people and more about promoting his own agenda, which is remaining in power and escaping jail. To achieve this goal he started using hatred and anger to incite the public against different groups. One of such was the Arab Israelis," he said referring to the pre-election campaign of 2015, where Netanyahu called on right-wing supporters to get out and vote threatening that if they didn't, the rule of the right-wing would be in danger due to Arab population's high turnout rates. 

    That's why, believes Fink, it is only natural for Netanyahu to leave his post.

    "People had enough of his corruption and the cynical attacks and they want to see him go. I cannot imagine a prime minister fighting his legal battles at court in the morning and managing the country in the evening," he said.

    Fink is not alone. According to the recent poll of Israel channel 13, some 56 per cent of Israelis want to see Netanyahu leave office following Mandelblit's announcement, with only 35 per cent saying he should keep his post.

    But Fink believes Netanyahu will not leave without a battle. "Israel has seen politicians under indictment before but it is different this time. While leaving, Netanyahu is shattering the very basic pillars of Israel's democracy," he said referring to Netanyahu's incitement against the police, the media and the judiciary system.

    The Day After

    Despite the fact that Fink is assured that it will take ages to see Netanyahu go, his disappearance from Israel's political map will open new vistas.

    "I really hope Israel is not going into another round of elections. But if it does, the left parties have a high chance to gain more seats and seize control of the Israeli parliament," he summed up.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    indictment, corruption, elections, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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