Rivlin and Netanyahu (archive)
Rivlin and Netanyahu (archive)Chaim Tzach/GPO

A number of religious Zionist rabbis sent a letter to President Reuben Rivlin on Tuesday following what they define as "an unprecedented and dangerous political and legal crisis."

In a letter, the contents of which were published Tuesday by Channel 13 News, the rabbis wrote to the president, "This crisis threatens the ability of the political system to address the difficult challenges facing the State of Israel today."

The rabbis called on the president to offer Netanyahu a deal in which the premier would retire in exchange for a pardon. "We urge you to offer the prime minister a full pardon, while at the same time retiring from office."

"Such a move, which does not include guilt or acquittal, seems to us the only way out of the strait we are under," the rabbis note in their letter.

Among the rabbis who signed the letter are the head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva, Rabbi Ya'akov Madan, Rabbi Haim Navon, and Rabbi Amichai Gordin, as well as the secretary general of the religious kibbutz Amitai Porat.

This pardon offer would be unusual in Israeli society. The only precedent is the case of 'Bus 300,' where several Shin Bet officers who executed two Arab bus hijackers were spared from prosecution.