Poll: Most Israelis oppose immunity for Prime Minister

56% of Israelis oppose plan to grant PM immunity while he remains in office, 51% say Netanyahu must resign if indicted.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Kobi Richter/TPS

A bill proposed by the Likud granting sitting prime ministers immunity from prosecution while they remain in office does not have the backing of a majority of Israelis, a new poll shows, with 56% of the public opposing the proposal currently being considered.

According to the poll, which was conducted by the Panels Politics polling agency on behalf of Walla! News and published Monday morning, 56% of Israelis are opposed to a proposal pushed by the Likud which would grant automatic immunity for every sitting prime minister, barring prosecution during the premier’s term in office.

Israel currently grants prime ministers – and other MKs - with immunity under certain conditions, which are less clearly defined.

Under the 2005 immunity law, lawmakers may be granted immunity if an indictment while they are still in office would “thwart the will of voters” or impede the functioning of the Knesset. Immunity may also be granted if the indictment was issued in “bad faith”.

Netanyahu’s inner circle within the Likud have sought to amend the immunity law, thus ensuring that Netanyahu is granted immunity from prosecution from charges in the Case 1000, Case 2000, and Case 4000 investigations.

In February, Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit announced that he planned to back police recommendations for indictments on charges of fraud and breach of trust in the Case 1000 and 2000 investigations, and was eyeing bribery charges in the Case 4000 investigation, pending a hearing with Netanyahu.

Fifty-one percent of Israelis say that Netanyahu must resign once the indictments are filed, the Panels Politics poll also showed.

According to Israeli law, however, the prime minister may continue to serve while under indictment and even after he is convicted. A sitting prime minister is only required to resign if he is convicted and once the Supreme Court upholds the conviction, if the premier appeals the initial court decision.