Dr. Hagai ben Artzi
Dr. Hagai ben Artzi Hezki Baruch

When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appeared in court, public figures and politicians made sure to describe these moments as a sad juncture for the entire country. The Prime Minister's brother-in-law, Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, believes that these are indeed embarrassing and sad moments, but for a completely different reason, and in addition, he states, these are moments that fill the heart with joy and pride.

"It is an embarrassment to see the prosecution in its disgrace and ignominy. They appear for the most dramatic trial, and the court seeks the approval of the Attorney General, and they answer that there is no document and no protocol, but at most a corridor meeting. It's embarrassing. Is this the State Attorney's Office of the State of Israel with a budget of millions, and thousands of lawyers? This is how they appear in the most dramatic court case in the history of the country? It's embarrassing and humiliating.

"The State Attorney's Office discusses life-and-death issues every day. If this is how you prepare a trial for a prime minister, then how do you prepare for every other person's trial?" Dr. Ben-Artzi asks, adding: "I was the head of a department in the Education Ministry. Every certificate requires a protocol of signatures and the approval of the Accountant General. I was a small director, and you're conducting an investigation against a prime minister and you don't have a signed certificate?"

Ben Artzi also refers to the content of the allegations, which he defines as sounding "delusional, fabricated, and ridiculous." "The main accusation is that Netanyahu wanted to improve his image, which every politician does every day and every hour. They themselves say that this is the first time they are prosecuting for such a thing. They admit that they are experimenting with a prime minister. Everything seems tailor-made and political.

"The shocking thing is that if you already trump up a case, do it properly. Bring all the permits properly. You trumped a case against Yaakov Ne'eman and he wrote about it in his book and described all the steps, so we did to Avigdor Kahalani and Rafael Eitan, but this is a government coup because it is a prime minister, so where's your professionalism? I was ashamed of this proceeding that embarrasses the justice system and law enforcement."

As mentioned, along with the feeling of shame and embarrassment about the prosecution's conduct, Dr. Ben-Artzi felt a sense of pride and joy from another direction, and about this he says "I said there is a dimension of pride and joy. The prime minister stood there and I imagined Ariel Sharon getting into the same legal entanglement, and unfortunately Sharon did not stand the test and betrayed to win media coddling and to get out of the legal entanglement. This is a terrible betrayal. I saw yesterday before my eyes a prime minister who has not betrayed even though his wife and children have been persecuted for years. I say openly, Bibi, I am proud of you despite the much criticism I have leveled at you over the past 25 years on moves such as the Wye deal deal and more.

"The prosecution said it succeeded with Sharon, the most Right-wing prime minister in the country's history; we brought him to a dramatic and brutal displacement of 26 localities. There is a chance we'll succeed again and try on Bibi, but we see him say no, Bibi stands the test. He stands up and says he believes in his innocence, he faces them and doesn't break."

Dr. Ben-Artzi reiterates that in the Sharon case, there were real bribery cases that led to the incarceration of Omri Sharon, but due to the Gaza eviction carried out by Sharon Sr., "he was forgiven everything and Menachem Mazuz closed all the cases even though then State Attorney Edna Arbel said these were bribery cases. Although I do not read the Haaretz newspaper, I received news that there were many articles that offered a pardon deal if he did so and so. 'We will define this as an emergency and forgive him.' Netanyahu's stance is a model for future prime ministers to stand and not break. Netanyahu halted the terrible process of a legal system that dictates what a prime minister will do, and not just Oslo. I salute him."