Hundreds of Likud members jammed an events venue in the suburban Tel Aviv town of Petah Tikvah in the evening hours of Dec. 18 for yet another of the many party primary rallies being held these days for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When he started speaking, many of them called out, “The people are sovereign,” “The people demand legal justice” and “Ohana is king.” They were referring to Amir Ohana, whom Netanyahu appointed justice minister in his caretaker government in June.
From the get-go, the appointment was Netanyahu’s way of poking the country’s legal system in the eye just weeks before the start of legal proceedings against him on suspicions of corruption. His young associate Ohana was already known for his confrontational rhetoric against the “legal junta” allegedly running the country. He defended Netanyahu and lashed out at the state prosecution at every opportunity.