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Like every other suspected civil servant, Netanyahu must step down

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not care that any low-level civil servant suspected of a felony is requested immediately to suspend himself until the end of his trial.

Had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu been a low-level official in Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection under indictment for corruption, the state’s Civil Service Commissioner would have sent him home a long time ago to spend time with his family pending the end of the legal proceedings against him. Ezra Saidoff, who served as deputy director general at the prime minister’s office under Netanyahu, was suspended for two years until the culmination of the legal proceedings against him in a case involving fraud and breach of trust at the prime minister’s residences.

The Civil Service Regulations stipulate that a state employee indicted or convicted of a crime or facing a criminal police investigation must report these developments to his or her supervisor. The supervisor will then examine whether “there is cause to suspend the worker.” The regulations make no mention of the “presumption of innocence,” the mantra of the right-wing chorus defending Netanyahu, reminiscent of the cries “he is innocent” by followers of Aryeh Deri, currently the minister of interior, when he was convicted of corruption in 1999 and sentenced to jail.

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