Peanuts and popcorn, refreshments usually at a circus, will not be available at pre-indictment hearings taking place in Jerusalem today.
An array of twenty-two brilliant legal minds will go into the battle for justice. Ten of them are lawyers for the defense of the accused prime minister and twelve represent the prosecution.
It is a difficult day for Binyamin Netanyahu and a less difficult day for the approximate 52% of Israelis who want the prime minister to step down so that normal political procedures could begin and a new legitimate government coalition could be formed.
Netanyahu’s legal defense represents the bright side, convinced that they could succeed in getting Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to either drop or reduce the charges.
The State’s prosecutors represent a dark side intending to prove the shady criminal offenses committed by an egoistic prime minister intent on surviving his crimes.
There are, according to the commandments stated in our Torah, two sides of justice. It is written emphatically “Tzedek, Tzedek tirdof”. “Justice, Justice shalt thou pursue”. The Hebrew word “tzedek” can also mean “righteousness”. But the word is written twice. Why?
In one sense, justice must be applied to the one who accuses another of a crime. When necessary and in doubt, mercy should be given.
In another sense, the one defending the accused must deal with justice in attacking the accuser.
Netanyahu is not present at today’s pre-indictment hearing. He has left his defense in the hands of capable and brilliant ( and extremely expensive) lawyers.
They will attempt to provide “evidence” against the State’s charges, in particular in the evidence given by the State’s prime witness, Shlomo Filber, a former strong aide in the prime minister’s pocket.
Filber’s information appears to be very strong. As a first-party witness to alleged crimes of bribery, fraud, lies and breach of promise against the prime minister, Filber under oath will provide the information which may lead to an indictment of Netanyahu.
Additionally, there are other prosecution witnesses who have come forward to denounce the prime minister’s political criminality in order to uphold his “integrity” and ability to continue in his post.
Perhaps the most important witness to testify in the case of Netanyahu’s corruption is his former Chief of Staff, the most important position in the office of the prime minister, Avi Harrow.
He knows everything that took place in Netanyahu’s office ( he even knows when Bibi sneezed) and is a willing witness in the Attorney General’s case.
I do not know Avi Harrow but I did know very well several members of his family. They came to Israel from California, dedicated Zionists and observant Jews. I would give positive heed to Avi Harrow’s testimony.
What can former associates of the prime minister personally gain from giving testimony against him?
Not riches and not fame. They speak only as messengers of truth.
They are bearers of the Torah’s commandment to pursue justice (and righteousness).
The pre-indictment hearings against Israel’s longest serving prime minister (13 years) will be recorded on the pages of Bibi’s legacy and of Israel’s history.
13 years is his political Bar Mitzvah. It is therefore time to be a man, to act like a man, and to admit the charges against him.
If he is found guilty and is sentenced to prison there are few Israelis who will mourn for his tragic fate.
But the dignity of Israel’s democracy will continue to live large in the eyes of all the world.
“Tzedek Tzedek tirdof”… Justice—justice shalt thou pursue.