The Left will Settle for Nothing Less than Netanyahus Head!
From January to October 2023, the Left in Israel, under the guise of opposing the proposed Judicial Reforms of the Netanyahu government, agitated for the removal of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government from power. Replacing it with a Centre-Left coalition.
Then came October 7 and the Gaza crisis. The Left had to suspend its destabilising campaign while supporting the government’s efforts to defeat Hamas and free the hostages held in Gaza.
Eventually, an emergency government was cobbled together, with Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot joining the war cabinet. Since then, the Left has resumed its campaign against Netanyahu by making him the scapegoat for October 7. Never mind that Gantz and Eisenkot bear much of the responsibility for Israel’s lack of preparedness in confronting the Arab nationalist attack of October 7.
Netanyahu is being seen as bungling the campaign in the south while displaying poor judgement in his handling of the hostage crisis, raising doubts about whether he is really up to the job. Netanyahu will be lucky to survive and be given another chance by the ascendant opposition and his party, which he has led off and on for sixteen years. Meanwhile, he is being marginalised by politicians who know they lack his gifts for leadership but believe their time has come to inspire greater trust from the electorate.
Gantz, Eisenkot and co are preparing to reshape the government’s agenda without proper insight into what needs to be done, mobilising effective political support which requires intuition about how it can be done and what should be done. Neither of these two politicians possesses these gifts and would fail to deliver the policies needed to protect Israel’s sovereignty.
Should Netanyahu fall from power in the near future, it will not mark the end of history. Still, it will unmistakably close an extraordinary chapter in the history of Israel’s political leadership.
Whoever follows his Prime Ministership, the salient fact will be that he was Not-Binyamin Netanyahu, which for some will be a sufficient attribute to fuel his initial popularity.
If Netanyahu should go, the opposition will have lost its pre-eminent target, and the Right may surprise themselves by taking on a new lease of life, perhaps tempted to try a riskier strategy of radical populism. A further move to the Right would play into the hands of Itamar Ben Gvir and Betzalel Smotrich as the electorate rejects the Left’s reliance on appeasing our enemies and our allies.