Former Israeli police chief says he's surprised Netanyahu didn't resign after charges

The former head of the Israeli police, Roni Alsheich, said that he thought the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would resign when he was incited in 2019.

Alsheich's comments on Israel's Army Radio triggered criticism.

The Times of Israel reported:

"Nobody could have guessed that ultimately, the prime minister would decide not to resign, would fight from within the system, would weaken the police," said Alsheich.

"Pressed to elaborate, Alsheich — who served as police chief during the investigation of Netanyahu and ended his term shortly before prosecutors recommended that the prime minister be indicted — denied that police had acted under the assumption that the prime minister would resign."

Alsheich went on to say that he had assumed that Netanyahu would resign for moral reasons and for the good of the country.

The remarks provoked outrage from Netanyahu’s allies.

Those allies said that the three corruption charges against Netanyahu were a setup, and they've been aware of that all along.

Netanyahu remains on trial for the charges, despite weak evidence.

Speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana — the first openly gay politician to hold that post — tweeted (translated via Google):

From the first moment I said that the prosecutor’s office assumed that the multitude of charges and the state witnesses would cause the Prime Minister to break down and go to a plea deal.

Who can afford to go to such a war against the state, whose resources are almost unlimited compared to a private person (the same state that forbade Netanyahu to receive aid in financing his defense) – and not break?

Netanyahu, thanks to the strength he drew from his many supporters, broke their thesis – and prevented the voter’s will from being thwarted.

This was and remains the real danger to Israeli democracy: non-acceptance of the election results, and an attempt to thwart them through the enforcement system, which can now be called in this context – the bypass system. Bypassing the voter’s decision.

"Netanyahu did not resign, but stayed in office and fought several successive elections, winning more votes for his party than any other but failing to assemble a coalition until the opposition united to oust him in 2021," Breitbart reported.

"He made a comeback in 2022, and led a coalition of right-wing parties to victory, returning to office even while under indictment and on trial. He has proposed a set of ambitious judicial reforms, which are hotly debated," according to Breitbart.

Many have noted similarities between Netanyahu’s prosecution and that of former President Donald Trump's, saying it has no legal basis.