Netanyahu No Longer Wants a Unity Government, He Wants to Crush the Supreme Court

The deeper we get into the coronavirus crisis, the more the phrase used in Benjamin Netanyahu’s earlier apocalyptic appearances, “emergency government,” becomes a bad joke – at our expense, of course.

For example, at the beginning of the crisis, the prime minister warned that Israel could have a million patients and 10,000 fatalities. And now? Now there’s a “study” concluding that Israel is the safest country in the world regarding the coronavirus.

Under the title “Forbes Magazine states,” Netanyahu gets out the message like those leaflets we drop over Gaza before an attack. Total fake, of course, but his base cheers and the hell with the facts. The health system, unemployment, a rehab program for the economy – those aren’t on the table for the coalition talks.

In the last 10 days one issue has preoccupied Likud and Kahol Lavan’s lawyers and politicians: Protecting Netanyahu from the Supreme Court. They’re not planning a “unity government” (there never was such a thing) but a government that will craft legislation to override the court.

Israel’s High Court of Justice, sitting in Jerusalem, April 16, 2020. Amit Shabi

If in the previous round the two sides’ legal mechanism aimed to ensure a smooth rotation of the premiership between Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, now all minds are laboring to pave overriding roads for the prime minister, and later the deputy prime minister, before and after the rotation.

Netanyahu is demanding – and shamefully dragging with him the leaders of the party allegedly formed to preserve the rule of law – a complicated bulwark. The higher the wall the defendant indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust builds around himself, the greater his fears and appetite. Not Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran.

Not even the rage of his wife and son, who are running the show, alarm him like the justices on the hill. You have to read the sickening tweets of his son against the Supreme Court and its justices to understand where Netanyahu is coming from. The son writes what his father thinks.