Impact of New Israeli Elections
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Netanyahu's failure to cobble together a ruling coalition regime by the Wednesday midnight deadline potentially affects his future adversely and Trump's no-peace/deal of the century peace plan.
Reportedly, Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit won't delay Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing on fraud, bribery and breach of trust charges past its scheduled October 2 and 3 dates.
Mandelblit rejected a request from his lawyers for a full-year delay. Initially scheduled for July, he granted Netanyahu a delay until early October to get past the April 9 elections and give his legal team time to prepare a defense.
New Israeli elections are scheduled for September 17 — most likely leaving too little time for a new Knesset to pass immunity legislation Netanyahu seeks, limiting Supreme Court power over his case if it becomes law, what he fears if its justices have final say over whether he'll be held accountable or get off scot-free.
While his lawyers continue seeking a delay on his hearing, Israel's Channel 13 quoted an unnamed source close to Mandelblit, saying "(w)e will not agree to a further delay in the hearing," adding:
"Netanyahu has enough time to prepare for it. He intends to use the matter of (new September) elections to seek another postponement? Let him try. It won't work for him. He has plenty of time to prepare as necessary."
Israel's Channel 12 issued a similar report, saying new elections won't have the "slightest impact" on how his case proceeds, adding: "The date for the hearing has been fixed, and it won't move a millimeter," according to an unnamed source.
When the October hearing on his case is held, Netanyahu's legal team will represent him without his presence, the same source explained.
Days earlier, Mandelblit commented on the proposed immunity law, saying its enactment into law would "harm the country's citizens, who will be left exposed to the possibility of arbitrary decisions by the government."
In February, Mandelblit said he intends indicting Netanyahu on fraud, bribery and breach of trust. Before formally charging him, he's entitled to a hearing, twice delayed, apparently no more. His legal team has four more months to prepare a defense, more than enough time, according to Mandelblit.
Netanyahu's efforts to form a ruling coalition and pass immunity legislation ahead of his scheduled pre-indictment hearing failed — unless things change ahead which seems highly unlikely.
As for Trump's no-peace/peace plan, what Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour called a land grab, what its foreign affairs minister Riad Malki called a plan for Palestinian surrender, the White House scheduled release of its economic portion in Manama, Bahrain on June 25 and 26.
The Orwellian labeled "Peace to Prosperity" conference will pretend to offer Palestinians economic incentives, according to information about it — a neoliberal hoax similar to John Kerry's no-peace/peace plan.
He proposed $4 billion in fantasy economic incentives. It was all about attracting exploitive private investments, benefitting Israeli and Western business interests exclusively, imposing greater neoliberal harshness on the Territories than already.
What's scheduled for unveiling in Manama may be delayed because of Netanyahu's failure to form a ruling coalition. His aim for an unprecedented fifth term as prime minister is uncertain. So is resolution of criminal charges against him coming to a head sooner than he wishes.
According to Haaretz, "(s)enior Palestinian Authority officials are predicting that the release of…Trump's…peace plan will be delayed due to the dissolution of the Knesset and new elections in Israel scheduled for September 17," adding:
"A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that talks held by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah on Wednesday with foreign visitors strengthened the expectation that (the White House) would not release the details of its peace plan until a new Israeli government is formed."
Senior PLO official Saeb Erekat believes the Knesset's dissolution, new elections, and possible Netanyahu defeat could further delay release of Trump's peace plan, change what's in it, or possibly suspend its release until present uncertainties are resolved.
An unnamed White House official said the late June Bahrain conference will be held as scheduled, adding the political portion of Trump's peace plan won't be released until "the timing is right."
It's uncertain who's attending the Bahrain conference. Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt have been pushing Arab leaders to come, showing support for the scheme if they participate.
Jordan's king Abdullah reportedly told Kushner and Greenblatt that Trump's plan must include Palestinian statehood with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He hasn't said if he'll attend the June conference so far. Palestinian officials said they won't come if invited.
The Saudis, UAE, and Qatar expressed support for the session, other Gulf states and Egypt likely to attend.
New Knesset elections and Netanyahu's coming indictment complicate things for US and Israeli ruling authorities — how things to play out uncertain until resolved one way or the other.
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