New legislation prohibiting the investigation of a sitting prime minister for minor crimes sparked controversy Tuesday.
The proposal by Knesset Interior Committee chairman David Amsalem (Likud) states that a premier may not be probed for minor offenses that carry a sentence of up to six months in prison, but that the prime minister’s term will not be counted against the statute of limitations for time in which the offense can be investigated.
Amsalem explained that the prime minister “must make fateful decisions about matters that influence the entire public on diplomatic, security, economic and social matters. We can’t keep him busy with investigations almost every day.
“I don’t know one democratic country in the world in which its prime minister stars in news about investigations and strange and unusual scandals so often,” Amsalem lamented. “No one really believes that the whole world is just and there are only thieves in Israel.”
As such, Amsalem said, the bill wasn’t timed specifically because of the latest mysterious probe of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reportedly involving donations from abroad, since “at any given moment there’s a secret or open investigation of a prime minister.”