The Israeli public is split along political lines on whether Benjamin Netanyahu should resign if he is indicted for bribery and breach of trust, a survey has shown.
A prominent poll by the Israel Democracy Institute this week reveals that only ten percent of right-wingers think Netanyahu, who leads the Likud party, should stand down if Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit orders him brought to trial.
By contrast, almost 90 percent of opposition-voters believe he should step aside, meaning that 52 percent of the country thinks he should resign if Mandelblit – who was chosen by Netanyahu – recommends indictment.
At the end of December, Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office recommended that Netanyahu be indicted, but this now needs to be signed off by Mandelblit.
Prosecutors have looked at two cases in particular, both involving newspapers, with Netanyahu allegedly promising political favours in return for better coverage. In one instance, he allegedly promised to pass a law limiting a competitor’s distribution.
Ominously, the percentage of Israelis surveyed who feel Netanyahu would have to resign – 52 – mirrors that of the Brexit-backing proportion of Brits who voted out of the EU, sparking three years of bitter division and animosity in the UK. Commentators believe Netanyahu’s indictment could be similarly polarising.