Citizens of Israel,
After more than two months of war, I have decided to resign as Prime Minister and withdraw from political life. This resignation will take effect at midnight. I have called a cabinet meeting within the next few hours to appoint Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as interim Prime Minister. I solemnly call on all the Zionist parties to join the government immediately, with the sole aim of winning this war. The time for division between us is over. We are all one people, united and willing the same goal of living in peace among ourselves and with our neighbors.
I have become fully aware that my person is a major obstacle to the achievement of this goal and that the greatest service I can render to the nation is to step aside in order to allow this union between us that we so desperately need.
I am now convinced that the events of October 7 were only apparently due to the failure of our intelligence services and the delay of our forces to operate, but that the division that has torn us apart over the past year is the primary cause of this catastrophe. It was this rift between us that allowed the enemy to infiltrate. So, the greatest service I can do for the nation is to resign, because I am, rightly or wrongly, the symbol of this split.
The political situation was such that I had to accept political parties into the coalition whose objectives I knew were not compatible with the interests of the nation. Nevertheless, I thought I could reason with them. That was my great mistake – it wasn’t me who imposed myself on them, it was the opposite that happened! The latest example is the vote for a coalition budget that distributes funds to special interests at a time when budget priorities are glaringly obvious. I was weak, I was blind, I let my personal ambitions get the better of me to the detriment of the best interests of the nation. I accepted the most unreasonable proposals from right-wing parties in order to retain power, in the hope that one day soon I would regain control. What has been done is done, but I say enough is enough. May my present action mitigate my responsibility. Citizens of Israel, I implore your forgiveness.
This is the historic speech that you will not hear.