Netanyahu goes on trial in Jerusalem. Amit Shabi/POOL
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Is Netanyahu Israel’s Dreyfus Affair?

Many see in Netanyahu’s travails nothing less than the suffering of Jesus.

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Can the Netanyahu affair in Israel be compared to the Dreyfus affair in France in the 19th century? At that time, the Jewish French army captain Alfred Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court martial in Paris for alleged treason in favor of the German Empire. He was later acquitted and released after ten years.

It was a judicial scandal that deeply divided French politics and society. And many of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supporters are comparing him to Alfred Dreyfus. Both involved high-profile Jews, with the French Jew Dreyfus convicted by a Christian court for antisemitic reasons, and the Israeli Jew Netanyahu standing before a Jewish court, which he accuses of trying to topple his right-wing government.

Netanyahu’s eldest son, Yair, tweeted as his father appeared before the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday: “Today the Dreyfus affair begins in Israel.”

Half of the people are certain that Benjamin Netanyahu is innocent, and the other half are of the opinion that he is guilty and a threat to Israeli democracy. “This reality is tearing Israeli society…

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