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From one old Likudnik to another: Bibi, it’s time for you to go

The office of prime minister needs a person of vision, competence and integrity, qualities you do not possess
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on January 7, 2024. (RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on January 7, 2024. (RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP)

As a former member of the Herut and Likud world executives, the grandfather of an IDF soldier serving in a commando unit, and someone who has followed your career from its beginnings, I call upon you to resign and return to private life.

I say this not as a result of bending to the will of a despicable cadre of diplomats, politicians, and journalists who have made of you a lightning rod with which to attack Israel’s just and necessary war in defeating a terrorist entity on Israel’s border but as someone who believes that your latest turn as prime minister has reached a dead end, one with potentially disastrous consequences for all Jews, everywhere.

For the following reasons and more, it is time for you to leave:

For betraying the legacies of Jabotinsky and Begin;

For turning the Likud into a party of sycophants;

For facilitating the formation of extremist parties;

For imagining you could effectively govern while obsessed with the proceedings in a Jerusalem courtroom;

For creating the most divisive government in Israel’s history;

For bringing into your cabinet Itamar Ben Givir, the Kahanist admirer of the terrorist Baruch Goldstein;

For the cynical, self-serving move of handing the police portfolio to Ben Gvir, whose prior actions render him ineligible to serve in the IDF;

For filling your government with a rogues’ gallery of political extremists, religious fanatics and a convicted felon;

For promoting anti-democratic legislation that divided Israel in an unprecedented way;

For failing to anticipate the murderous intentions of Hamas;

For not immediately resigning after the October 7 catastrophe;

For not advocating the formation of a government of national unity to deal with mounting diplomatic and military challenges;

For sending mixed messages on the fate of the hostages and failing to embrace their families;

For an abysmal failure to conceive and implement hasbara to counter the lies of terrorists and their fellow travelers;

For making the fatuous claim that hasbara efforts are stymied because you cannot find anyone “to string two words in English together,” — even as you cynically fired, for political reasons, the best English-language spokesperson Israel has had in years;

For not effectively refuting the contrived casualty figures issued by Hamas;

For lacking both the wisdom and the will to formulate a “day after” scenario;

For stonewalling legislation aimed at inducting into military service tens of thousands of much-needed recruits from the Haredi communities;

For allowing your son to escape reservist duty by living abroad in partially state-funded exile;

For not enhancing, in a time of increasing antisemitism, the protective role the State of Israel has traditionally played in the lives of diaspora Jewry.

It is time for you to turn over the office of prime minister to a person of vision, competence and integrity. The whole Jewish people, in Israel and in the Diaspora, urgently needs this outcome.

About the Author
Gerald Strober served as a Likud member of the Zionist General Council, 1983-91.