Political officials seek to have president pardon incumbent prime minister in exchange for his stepping down from political life.
A group of political leaders who are not acting in coordination with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have proposed an outline under which the prime minister would retire from politics in exchange for a presidential pardon, Channel 12 News reported Wednesday evening.
Under the outline, President Reuven Rivlin would grant a broad pardon to Netanyahu if he admits to the indictments filed against him and declares he is retiring from political life.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit sent an updated indictment to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The updated indictment revealed the district court to which the indictment will be filed, the Jerusalem District Court, as well as the list of witnesses against the prime minister.
The political actors are not the first to propose that Rivlin pardon Netanyahu in exchange for his retirement. Last month, a number of religious Zionist rabbis sent a letter to President Rivlin calling the indictments against Netanyahu "an unprecedented and dangerous political and legal crisis."
"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.