Netanyahu Wins Election for Prime Minister Despite Corruption Trial

Written by Bushra Bani-Salman

November 7, 2022

Benjamin Netanyahu lost his position as Prime Minister last year due to corruption charges but will now return as Prime Minister. Netanyahu’s allies also won 64 seats in the legislature, leaving current Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s allies with 51 seats. 

Netanyahu governed Israel for a majority of the past 25 years, and previously included the centrist party on policies. Now, his agenda seems to only impress the far-right. His far-right policies are known to antagonize Palestinians and empower Ultra-Orthodox Jews. 

Netanyahu supporters in the coalition include far-right leader, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who hopes to oversee the police force. Ben-Gvir was rejected from army service for being considered too extremist. His policy proposals are to deport anyone “against the State of Israel” and give Israeli soldiers more freedom to shoot Palestinians. He is known for previously hanging a picture in his home of an Israeli settler who killed 29 Palestinians in a mosque in the West Bank, until 2020. Some Palestinians hope with the rise in popularity for Ben-Gvir, the world will pay attention and witness what they go through.

Despite Netanyahu saying he will not use his authority to alter the judicial process of his corruption trial, his coalition partners have noted they will try to legalize his accused crime or even dismiss the entire trial. Netanyahu’s allies wish to further weaken Israel’s justice system, to loosen the Supreme Court’s oversight of the parliamentary process. Additionally, they hope to end Palestinian autonomy in occupied West Bank, which has raised concerns with opponents that the new government could curb any hope of an end to the occupation. 

Netanyahu is accused of corruption and the trial entail three separate cases. In Case 1000, he is accused of accepting around $300,000 in gifts from years 2007 to 2016 for Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian Billionaire James Packer. This includes accusations that Netanyahu lobbied the U.S. government to renew Milchan’s visa. In Case 2000 and Case 4000, Netanyahu is accused of discussing other quid pro quo agreements that would allow him to get supportive coverage from newspapers.

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