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Netanyahu at war with legal system

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might be standing now with his back against the wall, but he still succeeds in keeping his supporters on his side.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves after addressing members of his right-wing party bloc at a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel November 17, 2019. REUTERS/Nir Elias - RC26DD9NFJ8W
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On the evening of Nov. 21, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went from being a suspect in a bribery case to being indicted for the charges while still serving as prime minister. Over the next few days, he will face a first dramatic test within the Likud to see if he can survive the indictment. If indeed Likud members continue to follow him, their sentiments would form the basis of a third election campaign, led by Netanyahu himself. It would be a campaign portraying him as the victim of an attempt to launch a coup against the right. It is, in fact, how he sees things.

All of this is unfamiliar territory, never seen before in the State of Israel. This is the first time that a prime minister seeking to be reelected has run for office while facing such serious charges — or any charges whatsoever, for that matter. Never before has the formal legal system been asked to determine whether such a person can even be tasked with forming a new government.

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