In coverage of the global Coronavirus crisis, various media have reported on the extraordinary steps various governments have taken to stem the pandemic, the difficulties in balancing such measures against privacy rights or other freedoms of democracy, and criticism from some that certain actions are unjustified, undemocratic power grabs. The New York Times, in particular, along with The Los Angeles Times, identify Israel as a prime example of a country where an “autocratic,” “authoritarian” leader allegedly engaged in an undemocratic “coup d’état,” or “Coronavirus coup.”
To make the case, both leading media outlets have falsely and repeatedly reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has closed the country’s courts, delaying his own trial on corruption charges.
And by ordering the closing of the nation’s courts, Mr. Netanyahu delayed his scheduled appearance to face corruption charges.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to be facing trial this week on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges.Instead, he was shutting down the courts. . .
The justice minister, a Netanyahu loyalist, also used emergency ordinances to restrict court activities, leading to the postponement of Mr. Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges for more than two months.
justice minister on Sunday severely curtailed the courts, a move that was followed hours later by the postponement of Mr. Netanyahu’s criminal trial on bribery and corruption charges, which had been scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
In the very early hours of Sunday, Israeli Justice Minister Amir Ohana announced that emergency measures will be put in place to counter the spread of coronavirus, affecting the workings of Israel’s courts. Ohana later said that the decision to postpone the [Netanyahu] trial was made solely by the judges on the panel set for the trial, “without any involvement” by politicians.According to the announcement, court activity will be frozen except for urgent hearings.
While launching a decisive early campaign to contain the virus’ spread, Netanyahu and his allies put off the scheduled start of his trial by closing the courts …
But Netanyahu may be ahead of the curve in another way: In only four days, he has shut down Israeli courts . . .