Headed different directions?
Photographer: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images
After 14 months of investigation, the Israeli police have finally decided that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a crook.
That doesn’t make him guilty. The cops aren’t always right. Bibi says they are biased. Now the police report goes to the attorney general, Avihai Mandelblit. If he decides to indict, Netanyahu will have to step down. This will take some time, and circumstances can change, but at the moment I’d put the odds against the prime minister at about 3-to-1.
In the meantime, he can stay in office. But he will not be nearly as strong or as free as he has been. Israeli prime ministers need a parliamentary majority. Netanyahu’s margin is 61-59, in a coalition of his Likud and five smaller parties. Each has its own ideological, political and personal agendas. And even two rebels with a cause or a grudge could bring down the government by voting with the opposition to disband the current parliament.