The war in Gaza has exposed the failure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead his country and secure its future. According to a new survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, a majority of Israelis (56%) are dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict, and 49% think he should resign or be replaced. This is not surprising, given the devastating human and political costs of the war, which has achieved nothing but more bloodshed, hatred, and instability.
Netanyahu’s decision to launch a massive military campaign against Hamas in response to its rocket attacks was reckless and irresponsible. He ignored the warnings of his own security and intelligence officials, who advised him to seek a diplomatic solution and avoid escalation. He also disregarded the pleas of the international community, which urged him to respect the humanitarian law and protect civilians. He chose to pursue a personal and political agenda, rather than the national interest and the common good.
Netanyahu’s war has not only failed to stop Hamas‘ rockets, but also strengthened its position and popularity among Palestinians. Hamas has portrayed itself as the defender of Jerusalem and the resistance against Israeli occupation and oppression. It has also gained the support and sympathy of many Arab and Muslim countries, which have condemned Israel’s aggression and pledged to help rebuild Gaza. Netanyahu’s war has also alienated Israel’s allies and partners, who have criticized its disproportionate use of force and called for an end to the occupation and the settlement expansion.
Bad for Democracy
Netanyahu’s war has also exposed the deep divisions and tensions within Israeli society, which he has exploited and exacerbated for his own political survival. He has inflamed the nationalist and religious sentiments of his right-wing base, while alienating and marginalizing the moderate and liberal forces. He has also incited and provoked the violence and hatred between Jews and Arabs, which erupted in unprecedented riots and clashes across the country. He has failed to protect the lives and rights of all Israeli citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
Netanyahu’s war has also revealed the fragility and vulnerability of Israel’s democracy, which he has undermined and eroded for his own benefit. He has used the war as a distraction and a diversion from his corruption charges and his inability to form a stable government. He has also used the war as a pretext and a justification to suppress and silence his critics and opponents, both inside and outside the parliament. He has abused his power and authority, and violated the rule of law and the separation of powers.
Netanyahu’s war has been a disaster for Israel and its people. It has brought more death, destruction, and despair, and less security, peace, and hope. It has damaged Israel’s reputation, legitimacy, and credibility, and isolated it from the world. It has weakened Israel’s democracy, unity, and identity, and threatened its existence.
It’s time for Netanyahu to go. He has proven to be a dangerous and destructive leader, who has no vision, no strategy, and no solution for Israel’s challenges and conflicts. He has lost the trust, the confidence, and the support of his own people, who deserve a better and brighter future. He has no right, no mandate, and no legitimacy to remain in power, and he should resign or be replaced as soon as possible.