J.J Gross

Bibi is 100% right. Which is why he should resign. Now.

If Biyamin Netanyahu gave two hoots about what’s best for Israel he would resign. Now. And it’s not because he is wrong about the need to prosecute the war until Hamas is eliminated. After all, anyone who would replace him, whether from Likud or from any of the legitimate opposition parties, would follow the same military strategy.

Right now, Israel is being faulted by friend and foe alike. We can’t do much about those who would hate us under any circumstances. A corrupt and failing country like South Africa will not mend its ways even if we were to plead guilty at the ICJ and beg forgiveness from the African National Congress.

Our problem is that we are being confronted by our friends in Washington and London, and questioned by supposed allies in Paris and Berlin over policies which they blame exclusively on Bibi, who has become a pariah both at home and abroad. Only by removing himself from the stage will our friends understand that, for us, the war in Gaza is an existential one, and not a self-serving battle to save one man’s political and personal posterior.

If Bibi were to step down and be replaced by a less toxic, indeed less radioactive PM, the world might start listening to us and our genuine concerns. Without doubt , a Benny Ganz, or a Yair Lapid, or a Naftali Bennet or even one of the lesser Likud personalities would be received very differently in Washington, sans the mistrust Netanyahu generates every time he opens his mouth.

We Israelis deserve better. Indeed we need better, and we need it now. Bibi has worn out his welcome not just in Washington and London, but in just about every sentient Israeli household. Let me list some of the reasons why:

  1. He is responsible for the debacle of October 7th. Yes there are others as well. But the buck stops with him. Having led us into this quagmire, we can no longer trust him on any level.
  2. He reeks of sleaze if not of outright corruption. He seems to have no friends other than a shrinking fistful of nouveau riche moguls in Hollywood and Australia who were once willing to ply him with cigars and his wife with booze and bijoux.
  3. His unelected and extraordinarily unappealing spouse to exert an outsize influence on his decision-making. Over the years she has systematically eviscerated her husband’s relationships with high quality acolytes and associates. She has impelled their fall from grace thereby triggering the creation of opposition parties led by the very people who her husband should have been grooming as the next generation of top leadership. The latest example is the firing of Eylon Levy, the young superstar spokesperson who was our only quality wartime interlocutor with the western media.
  4. By forcing his best and brightest to flee Likud, Bibi was compelled to lie in bed with haredi parties that exist for the sole purpose of milking our treasury to the tune of billions annually, while guarantying military exemptions for their uneducated and unemployable minions. This has resulted in an exponentially growing underclass of chronic dependents on government, i.e. taxpayer, largesse.
  5. By mocking every father and mother in Israel, by having his own military age son gallivanting in Miami Beach while their own sons are risking their lives in Gaza, in Jenin and on our northern border. This is classic banana republic behavior – a corrupt el commandante using his citizens as canon fodder while his own children cavort in South Beach.

It was bad enough when Bibi was trying to rig the justice system even as he was – and continues to be – on trial for corruption. It was bad enough when our newspapers were filled with reports about his wife’s disgraceful conduct towards her staff, her egregious behavior when traveling as the PM’s spouse, her dreadful interference in key government policies and appointments, and her greedy gluttony for pink champagne and golden bling all on order from foreign moguls. It was bad enough when their unemployed playboy son operated his libelous social media show from his lair in the PM’s residence.

But all this predated the colossal failure of October 7th. And any of it would have been solid grounds for his removal from office.

Today, our single greatest public relations catastrophe is our prime minister. His continued occupation of Balfour Street compromises our ability to function favorably in the international arena. As well, it makes it impossible to take any steps toward reversing the capitulation to haredi blackmail or the inclusion of unhinged fanatics as government ministers.

Yes, Bibi is right about one thing, we must fight Hamas until its bitter end. But in order to achieve this without turning it into a pyrrhic victory we need a leader who can be trusted both at home and abroad. And that leader is not Binyamin Netanyahu. If he would resign now he just might salvage whatever remains of his credibility, and history might judge him not only for what he did wrong but for the things he once did that were right.

JJ Gross is a retired advertising creative director who lives in Jerusalem. After making aliyah he served for five years as a volunteer police officer, until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. His only son is a reserve captain in the IDF.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.