In Blow to Netanyahu, Knesset Panel to Commence Immunity Debate

The Knesset committee to discuss granting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request for immunity in the three corruption cases against him may convene as soon as Monday, following a legal opinion issued by the Knesset's legal adviser.

Eyal Yinon, the Knesset’s legal adviser, issued a legal opinion Sunday saying that Speaker Yuli Edelstein cannot veto the convening of the Knesset House Committee.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56Haaretz

Most lawmakers are expected to vote against granting immunity to Netanyahu, who has been indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz said he had told party colleague Avi Nissenkorn, who chairs the Organizing Committee, to convene the committee as soon as possible and establish the House Committee to discuss the immunity request.

Edelstein, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, said he disagreed with Yinon’s opinion and that he would not help make the Knesset “the site of cheap election propaganda.” Edelstein added that he could not promise that a fair process would take place, and claiming that there was a “conflict of interest” in the proceedings. 

Yinon’s opinion said he had determined that Edelstein cannot prevent a meeting of the panel that organizes the establishment of the various Knesset committees, known as the Organizing Committee.

He also said that if the Knesset’s Organizing Committee formulates a proposal for the makeup of the permanent Knesset committees, the government or 25 lawmakers can request that the full Knesset meet, “and the Knesset speaker must grant this request.”