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Netanyahu’s oust and peace prospects

Feb 18,2018 - Last updated at Feb 18,2018

Israeli television channels 2 and 10 recently confirmed that Israeli police have recommended indicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on two counts, bribery and breach of trust.

According to evidence collected by the police, Netanyahu received gifts from influential business leaders in his country, valued at $300,000, allegedly in the form of jewelry and cigars!

The breach of trust charge is related to evidence obtained by the police that the Israeli prime minister had exploited his office to support the Israeli daily newspaper, Yediot Aharanot, at the expense of the other Israeli major daily, Israel Hayom, which happens to be the main competitor of Yediot Aharanot.

The attorney general has yet to accept the police's recommendation and act upon it. Netanyahu has been the Israeli prime minister since 2009 and had served in the same capacity between 1996-1999.

Rumours in Israel have it that the prime minister is plagued by bribery charges for a long time, which surface every now and then in Israel with his political rivals trying to make the best of these accusations to bring him down from power.

There is an apparent public fatigue of Netanyahu as a leader anyway having occupied the office of prime minister for so many years. Many Israelis feel that it is time for a change, irrespective of whether the accusations against him will hold up in a court of law.

Of course, Netanyahu's fall from the pinnacle of power would be of great service to the cause of peace, not only on the Palestinian front, but also regionally. The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, or better still what's left of it, has been stalled since Netanyahu's rise to power in his country more than a decade ago.

It is no accident that there has been hardly any movement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians since Netanyahu's assumption of power with all evidence placing the blame squarely on him.

As much as the Israeli people wish so much for a change of leadership, the peace process also yearns for a new Israeli leader.

Of course, there is no guarantee that any future Israeli leader would be any different or more forthcoming in engaging the Palestinians in serious and fruitful peace talks. Still, a new prime minister in Israel may indeed offer new opportunities for peace with the Palestinians.

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