Dr.Salim M.Al Zanoon
The investigation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been going on since August 2016 in four cases identified by media respectively, with files of (1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000). While the first case is about bribery of businessmen, the second case revolves around an illegal swap deal with Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, and the third case revolves around a supposedly corrupt deal for the purchase of a submarine from Germany. The fourth case number (4000) concerns the suspected security violations related to a merger deal involving the national telephone company Bezek. The investigations have seen major developments, most notably is that Netanyahu’s adviser was turned into a state witness, and he gave information condemning Netanyahu in the first and second case, in the context of the third case, six senior state suspects were investigated and three of them were placed under house arrest. The fourth case is still under investigation. In addition, Netanyahu’s wife and eldest son face cases in Israeli courts , prompting Netanyahu to adopt more extreme positions in order to recover his declining popularity.
In this context Netanyahu faces three possible scenarios:
First -the resignation, we conclude that it is not expected that he will to resign at the moment for several reasons linked to the weak pressure of public opinion and the cohesion of the Likud and the right-wing coalition and the division of political elites.
Second: stay and continue, we conclude that Netanyahu at the very least will remain in office until the end of the next year .due to the slow legal proceedings and support the US administration.
Third : Early elections and associated with an indictment against him that leads to the pressure of right-wing coalition and vote to topple the government or resign before the court’s decision , Here the president assigns a member of the Likud party to form a new government and if elections are decided , it will be at the end of the next year, in the light of this crisis , the Likud party and the political parties are preparing for the stage of Netanyahu’s move to fill three leading positions occupied by Netanyahu:
The leadership of the Likud party : Gideon Saar is considered the party’ favorite after Netanyahu leaves
The leadership of the right coalition: the competition between Naftai Bent and Jedoun Saar rages and Bent has recently surpassed Saaer.
The leadership of government: Despite Likud’s downfall in opinion polls, it is still ahead of all parties to win a possible election and form a government.
The latest developments in the crisis will not push Netanyahu to resign voluntarily and if an indictment is filed against him, he will continue in office until the end of next year and hold early elections and Gideon Sa’ar is the most likely figure to the leadership of the Likud party after Netnayhu and Naftali has made progress on Saar to become the strongest candidate for the right-wing coalition and the Likud party, despite its decline, is ahead of all parties in the event of early elections.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies