Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu commandeered the country's airwaves last week in what many assumed would prove a moment of profound national import. They could not have been more wrong.
The context was his decision last month to move forward the general election to April, widely seen as a desperate effort to turn the vote into a referendum on his innocence as long-standing corruption investigations close in.
The police have recommended that he be charged over three separate allegations of bribery. By calling the election, Netanyahu has forced the attorney-general, Avichai Mendelblit, onto unfamiliar – and constitutionally tricky – terrain.
Mendelblit, an appointee of Netanyahu's, has indicated that he will make a decision on whether to issue an indictment before the ballot, so that voters have the facts to make an informed choice.