A far-right Israeli party that includes avowed followers of the racist rabbi Meir Kahane is offering to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secure immunity from prosecution.
In return for immunity, according to a report in the Times of Israel, the Union of Right-Wing Parties want the annexation of all Jewish settlements in the West Bank. And that’s not all: They also want a new law that will allow the Knesset to overrule Israel’s High Court; control of multiple ministries; and the creation of a committee to legalize illegal settlements, among other demands favorable to the settlement project.
Israel’s Attorney General has said that he plans to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges, but has yet to do so.
The demands come as the party prepares to open negotiations with Netanyahu, who is building a coalition after Knesset elections earlier this month. The Union of Right-Wing Parties consists of multiple far-right parties, including the Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit. They hold five seats in the 120-member Knesset, and it will be very difficult for Netanyahu to form a majority without them.
Center-left politicians decried the demands. “The vision of the nightmare government is coming true,” Blue and White party Knesset member Ofer Shelah told the Times of Israel. “Netanyahu will give — to [URWP leader] Smotrich — and take — immunity for himself.”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Extremist Party Offers Bibi Immunity For Annexation