The Heat: Netanyahu goes on trial+Israel’s new unity government

The Heat

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new unity government and controversial plans to annex part of the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on trial this week for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Two of the charges have to do with allegedly buying himself favorable press, and the third for allegedly receiving illegal gifts from a rich donor. He has repeatedly denied the allegations – calling them “a witch hunt”. 

The trial comes a week after a new unity government was sworn-in pairing Netanyahu with his chief rival Benny Gantz. Under the power sharing arrangement, Netanyahu remains prime minister for the next 18 months before handing the reins to Gantz. In the interim Gantz serves as Defense Minister and has the new title of “Alternate Prime Minister”.

To discuss these issues:

  • Amotz Asa-El is The Jerusalem Post’s senior commentator and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
  • Omar Baddar is a human rights advocate and a member of the Arab American Institute’s National Policy Council.
  • Dan Arbell is a 25-year veteran of the Israeli Foreign Service, and currently serves as a Scholar-in-Residence at American University’s Center for Israeli Studies.
  • Mitchell Barak is an Israeli pollster and political analyst in Jerusalem.

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