'I wouldn't want Netanyahu to step down over investigation'

Has the Netanyahu era ended? At what stage should the prime minister resign? Minister Naftali Bennett concludes a week long visit to the US.

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Education Minister Naftali Bennett at the Western Wall
Education Minister Naftali Bennett at the Western Wall
Flash 90

One of the interesting issues that surfaced this week in the American media was the topic of "the day after Netanyahu". The prime minister visited the United States, but tried to avoid talking about the interrogations that were linked to him.

At the same time, Education Minister Naftali Bennett also visited the United States. Toward the end of the visit, he sat down for a summary conversation with Politico.

Bennett thinks that now is not the time to press the prime minister to quit.

"I do think that it’s wrong to demand that the prime minister step down just because he’s being investigated. That would be anti-democratic. He’s not even been charged with one element to date. If he’s charged, I assume we’d go to elections. That’s just what would happen if he is charged with these charges. Though I’ll say that, you know, I’ll make that final decision, from my perspective, as a major party in the coalition, only when I see what he’s charged about, how severe it is, and what’s the general situation; you know, what’s going on with Iran."

He added, "I support our police and our investigators, but I must say there’s an extraordinary amount of energy being invested in these investigations, almost unprecedented. So I won’t say that there’s a witch hunt, but you can see there’s a lot of energy that is being invested in signing up state witnesses, one after another. That does not mean that he is guilty."

He does not agree with the claims that Netanyahu is unable to focus on doing his job due to the investigations. "As far as I can see - and I see the prime minister many times a week, both in the cabinet and in the inner security cabinet - and he’s functioning well. It’s actually pretty remarkable that under this duress, under this pressure, he comes in and it seems as if it’s all quiet out there and we can focus on things. And I don’t see any strange or wrong motives infiltrating security discussions."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett at the Western Wall