Protesters Demand Israeli PM Netanyahu’s Resignation

Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu at the Community Reception Programme, in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 05, 2017 (file photo)
Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu at the Community Reception Programme, in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 05, 2017 (file photo)

By RMN News Service

Protesters are demanding Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu resignation over his failure to handle the coronavirus crisis and the ongoing corruption cases against him.

According to Reuters, Netanyahu hit back on Sunday (August 2), accusing the protesters of trampling democracy and the Israeli media of encouraging them.

Netanyahu, who was sworn in for a fifth term in May after an election, has been facing corruption charges which include soliciting media favors in exchange of covert state benefits.

The Reuters report adds that thousands of Israelis have been protesting in the streets and outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem home. Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, has denied wrongdoing in the three corruption cases against him.

Last year, the Attorney General of Israel Avichai Mandelblit had announced that he would indict Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three different cases.

Netanyahu said the charges are politically motivated to harm him just before the election. He had called the inquiry a “witch hunt” and said Mandelblit is weak.

His indictment had come after over three years of investigations while Netanyahu claims that it is part of an “attempted coup” to overthrow him. Despite indictment, Netanyahu has refused to step down.

Attacking the judiciary, Netanyahu had argued that the investigations against him were not fair. In response, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, Esther Hayut, has warned that Netanyahu’s attacks on the judicial system pose a danger to the functioning of the country’s democracy.

Similar, demonstrations are being held in Russia where thousands of people protested last month to express their opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

Defying social-distancing norms and without wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, the protesters in Russia’s vast hinterland chanted “Putin Resign” slogans and demanded the release of a regional governor arrested under the alleged charges of multiple murders.

According to reports, the protests in Khabarovsk, a city bordering China, and several other towns were the largest in Russia’s mostly inactive provinces in many years, exceeding in size the demonstrations held last summer in Moscow, the main center of opposition to the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, the issue of corruption in Rafale deal done by PM Narendra Modi has again surfaced in India. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has once again questioned the government about the dubious deal.

However, the opposition parties or the people in India have not yet demanded the resignation of PM Modi for the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal or Modi’s failure to handle the coronavirus crisis in India.

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Rakesh Raman