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Lieberman backs conditional pardon of Netanyahu

December 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman [James N. Mattis/Flickr]

Yisrael Beiteinu chair Avigdor Lieberman expressed his backing Thursday for a pardon of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided that the Likud leader retires from public life.

According to Haaretz, Blue and White chair Benny Gantz also voiced “potential support for such a move”.

In an interview with Ynet, Lieberman said: “unfortunately, Netanyahu is becoming a burden. Nobody wants to see him in prison, but nobody wants to see him as part of the Israeli political system either. Everyone is willing to allow him to leave political life with dignity”.

“If a bill [for Netanyahu to leave public life] is presented before the Knesset, I’m certain it would be approved by everyone”, Lieberman continued, adding that his party would “certainly support an arrangement under which Netanyahu would be allowed to retire with dignity”.

READ: New poll shows Israeli electorate blaming Netanyahu for political paralysis

On 21 November, Netanyahu became the first ever sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged with bribery, fraud and breach in three corruption cases.

Meanwhile, Gantz told supporters at a Tel Aviv rally later on Thursday: “We really wouldn’t like to see another prime minister going to jail”, a reference to former premier Ehud Olmert, who was convicted of corruption.

“This is something no Israeli citizen, no matter what the circumstances are, would want to see”.

Gantz added: “when it’s relevant, depending on the judiciary’s recommendations, we would consider it. If we can prevent this shameful sight, so be it”.