The attack of Hamas on October 7 has hit the core of Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being blamed for this. There are demands for his resignation. Written by Salah Uddin Shubhra
Israel changed on October 7. Hamas, the pro-independence armed group from Gaza, entered Israel early that morning, killing about 1,400 people. They took about 220 people hostage from there. Such a big blow is unimaginable for Israel. The question of how Hamas could carry out such an attack on Israel despite having the world’s best intelligence force like Mossad, has not been answered even today. And that anger has spread throughout the country. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership is now in question. Analysts believe that the Israeli-Palestinian crisis will not be resolved by keeping him in power.
The Atlantic reports that the attack not only struck at the myth of Israel’s strength, but at the core of the country’s sentiments. The Israelis think that this massacre by Hamas is equal to the attack on the Twin Towers of the United States. After the attack, US President George W. Bush led from the front. The whole nation rallied behind him. Those who did not vote for Bush were also in line. But Netanyahu has failed to do so.
The previously discussed war in Israeli history began on the same date in 1973, known as the ‘October War’. Many Israelis were also killed in that war. Golda Meir, the country’s then prime minister, resigned amid controversy over the war. In that war, almost three thousand Israeli soldiers were killed in the sudden attack by Egypt and Syria. After 50 years, Netanyahu may lose his post in the worst attack.
Amit Segal, the chief political commentator of Israel’s Channel-12, said that in the history of Israel, the governments of Golda Meir after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Menachem Begin after the First Lebanon War in 1982, and Ehud Olmert after the Second Lebanon War in 2006 have fallen.
After the attack, a poll showed that the people of the country do not trust Netanyahu. The Atlantic reported last month that 86 percent of respondents to a survey of Israelis said the catastrophic attacks from Gaza were due to a failure of the country’s leadership. 56 percent said Netanyahu should resign once the current war ends.
There were protests after the attack. This anger spread to the streets. Protesters scolded ministers when they came to the hospital to visit the injured. The headquarters of the ruling Likud party has been defaced with fake blood and pictures of Israeli hostages. There were also reports that Netanyahu was heckled by the crowd. Although it is hidden by the Israeli government. According to the poll, 80 percent of Israelis want Netanyahu to be publicly held accountable for the October 7 incident.
Netanyahu did not accept that responsibility. He put the entire responsibility on the chief of intelligence. He said that he was never warned about the attack that Hamas could carry out.
Former defense minister Benny Grantz strongly opposed Netanyahu’s claim. He is now a member of Netanyahu’s War Cabinet. Grantz X (formerly Twitter) said Netanyahu should retract his comments. When the war is on, the leadership should show more responsibility.
What was in his mind!
According to Foreign Affairs, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert was working with the Palestinian Authority to reach a peace deal that would include Gaza. But immediately after taking over from Olmert, Netanyahu sought to strengthen Hamas’s position in Gaza. He took the view that Hamas rule in Gaza would be good for Israel.
Many Israeli critics point to a June 2009 speech by Netanyahu at Tel Aviv’s Bar-Ilan University. Where he supports the theory that a solution is possible through a separate Israel-Palestine state. But his next steps backfired. He insisted on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and allowed Qatar to finance Hamas. More than 1,000 Hamas prisoners were released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Many Israeli analysts believe that Netanyahu did this to disrupt the two-state solution. In his heart, he calculated that if there is a gap between the West Bank and Gaza, the two-state solution will be hindered. A sovereign Palestinian state will not emerge and the ‘Holy Land’ of Israel will remain intact.
Israelis consider Hamas their enemy. They may have friendship or agreement with the Palestinian government but not with Hamas. That is why they want to eliminate Hamas. However, Israeli policymakers thought it would be possible to neutralize Hamas in Gaza only through negotiations with the Palestinian government, which Netanyahu did not think was right. He at one point patronized Hamas. When Hamas later attacked Israel, he launched a fierce battle to eliminate Hamas from Gaza. As a result, the solution of the two states became narrower.
As a result of Netanyahu’s policy, a large number of Israelis had to die. More than two hundred Israelis are still imprisoned by Hamas. Because of the operation in Gaza, Arab countries, including those who were interested in establishing relations with Israel, have now moved away. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that his government will cut ties with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said, ‘Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have thrown him in the scrap book.’
Saudi Arabia has also moved away. It is not clear what the outcome of this war will be. All in all, Israel has never before suffered such a disaster in its history.
Netanyahu has always said he is the protector of Israel. He wants everyone to remember him as such after death. Israel’s longest-serving prime minister has repeated the phrase in English and Hebrew for more than a decade. This is the message he wants to convey about himself to the Israeli people. He said, ‘You may not like me, you may not believe me, but only I can keep you safe.’
These statements of his have gone like camphor. He went from sole defender to the most failed leader in Israel’s history. It is certain that he will never be elected as Prime Minister again.
Netanyahu, active in Israeli politics for more than three decades, was nicknamed ‘The Magician’. He is nicknamed ‘King Bibi’ because he has been at the top of Israeli politics longer than any other leader. He has another nickname, which he probably enjoys the most. That is ‘Mr Security’. But after the attack by Hamas, everything collapsed.
Even after the Hamas attack on October 7, he made the same boast. What Hamas will experience will be difficult and terrible, he said. We are going to change the Middle East. It’s just the beginning. We will defeat them with great strength.
How many more days!
Before this, there were anti-Netanyahu protests in March. A large part of the Israeli citizens burst into anger. They claim that Netanyahu is trying to undermine democracy. Israel erupted in protests against the government’s decision. Thousands of people took to the streets of Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem. They blocked the road and set fire in places. Clash with the police. Since then, Netanyahu’s mattress has been shaky. He was forced to move from the position within 24 hours. Later, Netanyahu said, the judiciary reform proposal is suspended for the time being.
However, The Guardian reports that Netanyahu is unlikely to voluntarily step down.
If there is a vote of confidence, he will be forced to resign.
In addition to airstrikes, Israel is now conducting ground operations in Gaza. 9,500 Palestinians have been killed in the war so far. This has caused great concern in the international arena about Israel’s war strategy.
Despite the ground attack in Gaza, Israel is not able to benefit much. Israel has not been able to fully enter Gaza City in the face of strong resistance from Hamas. Hamas forces have made their bunkers in countless tunnels, which are about 500 kilometers under the ground. They are carrying out sneak attacks from there. However, the Israeli army is reportedly using ‘sponge’ bombs.
It is difficult for Israel to win this attack. There is also the question of how much confidence Israel’s citizens will have in Netanyahu if he wins. Because they cannot accept the killing of their friends, relatives, tribesmen.