Bibi Should Step Down

If Benjamin Netanyahu had any respect for the office he holds and the nation that he has been privileged to serve, he would understand that the time has come for him to step down.

His response to the Attorney General’s decision after more than three years of investigation to press charges against him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust should have been enough to convince any reasonable person that it was not appropriate for him to remain in office.

Anyone, even a prime minister, is innocent until proven guilty. However, instead of stepping down gracefully, Bibi responded to Dr. Mandelblit’s announcement by accusing Israel’s police force and the Attorney General’s office of maliciously building a case against him in an effort to overthrow his government.

Our prime minister accused those entrusted with the maintenance of the rule of law and order in our country of behaving like underworld criminals. Rather than arguing his own innocence, he chose to attack Israel’s legal system.

What Bibi is, in effect, saying to those who still support him is that they should choose between him and the rule of law. Enough is enough.

For years our prime minister has worked to divide our country accusing the Opposition of treachery. More than once at election time he has sought to incite the population against Israel’s Arab minority.

However, none of this started yesterday. We shall never forgive him for leading a protest at Ra’anana junction back in 1994 in which four of his supporters carried a hearse bearing the slogan “Rabin is killing Zionism”. Our late prime minister was accused of being a traitor. It only took a year and a half until Rabin would be assassinated. We shall never forgive. We shall never forget.

Irrespective of the outcome of Netanyahu’s trial, he will be remembered as the first prime minister of Israel to be accused of bribery and fraud. If he had any self-respect, he would step down now, cease to be an impediment to the formation of a coalition government and allow our country to move on.

About the Author
Rabbi Boyden was educated and received his rabbinical ordination in London, England. Having served as the rabbi of Cheshire Reform Congregation for thirteen years, he made aliyah with his family in 1985. He has established Reform congregations in Ra'anana and Hod Hasharon and previously served as director of the Israel Reform Movement's Beit Din.
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