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Does Netanyahu count on leftist NGOs to save him?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't feel the need to publicly oppose the settlement regularization law and anger the right because he thinks the left will do that work for him and win.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool - RTX2UHUE
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It appears that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has successfully refuted rumors that before assuming his important job, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu performed surgery on him to remove his spine. Mandelblit, who also serves as the government’s legal adviser, stood up to the boss and declared that he would not be able to defend the proposed legislation legalizing wildcat West Bank settlements against a Supreme Court challenge. Coalition chairman David Bitan, Netanyahu’s yes-man, then announced that the government would retain private counsel to do the job. In fact, however, Mandelblit’s “dissent” plays a central role in Netanyahu’s strategic planning.

Netanyahu’s first move is to push the so-called regularization bill through the Knesset and steal the thunder of his coalition partner Naftali Bennett, chair of HaBayit HaYehudi. At that point, human rights and leftist groups will petition the nation’s top court in a challenge to the law. The court will rule that the law is unconstitutional, and the right wing will accuse the left and the court of betraying Zionism. Netanyahu will then hold up the Israeli legal system as a shining example of democracy and respect for the law. Most important, Israel will wriggle out of appearing in the defendant’s box at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague for building settlements on private Palestinian land.

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