Israelis want Netanyahu and his coalition out and taken to trial as war on Gaza rages

Israelis want Netanyahu and his coalition out and taken to trial as war on Gaza rages
Irrespective of their political affiliations, Israelis unanimously agree on one issue: the unfolding events are a consequence of the Israeli government's failure.
4 min read
16 October, 2023
Discontent towards Netanyahu and his government has been steadily on the rise [Getty]

Many Israelis are demanding the "outser" of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the 7 October attacks that emanated from the Gaza Strip

Across the political spectrum, including the right and centre, Israelis agree on one matter: what has transpired is a result of a failure by the Israeli government. Some are even calling to put Netanyahu on trial. 

"Don't wait. Put him on trial now. He is a war criminal", Dan Shilon, an Israeli journalist, wrote on X over the weekend. 

Those who support removing Netanyahu say not only is he responsible for the 7 October "disaster", but he also cannot be trusted. 

Some Israelis even suggest that Sara Netanyahu, the PM's wife and acolytes, are working for the goal of political survival, "not war efforts". 

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"Netanyahu is rightly viewed as responsible for leading a failed policy toward the Palestinians, and the Gaza Strip in particular", Yonatan Touval, senior policy analyst at "Mitvim", a Tel Aviv-based foreign policy think tank, said to The New Arab.

A commission of inquiry will likely be established to examine the events leading to the war.

"Its conclusions are expected to be politically lethal for Netanyahu", Touval told TNA

"The big question is whether Netanyahu will heed these calls and step down voluntarily or be forced to step down by his own Likud party before or after the conclusions of the commission", he added. 

Rula Da'ood, co-director of Standing Together, a joint Israeli-Palestinian NGO dedicated to promoting peace and equality between the two peoples, believes Netanyahu's political future has been sealed. 

"In my opinion, there will not be a political future left for Netanyahu [after the war]", Da'ood said to TNA, adding, "The Israeli public was living under the illusion that things were under control". 

The stunning assault by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad fighters shook Israelis to the core, including the military brass, which is now engaging in what can only be described as "vengeance" bombing to restore a sense of dignity. 

"Only a land invasion and the occupation of Gaza will save face from an Israeli point of view", said Rula Da'ood.

On Monday, 16 October, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel after talks in six Arab states. Blinken went straight to talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem office. He's later expected to meet Netanyahu's security cabinet, which, according to the PM's office, is set to convene later in the evening. 

The death toll in the Gaza Strip surpassed 2,800 on day 10 of the war as Israel continued airstrikes. Nearly ten thousand have been injured.  

Israel has admitted that as many as 199 Israelis have been captured as prisoners, possibly on the first day of the fighting. 

Over 1,300 Israelis, including civilians and the military, have died so far in the conflict. 

Discontent towards Netanyahu's government has been steadily on the rise. So-called "judicial reforms" and rising costs of living were the main drivers behind the dissatisfaction among Israelis before the war. However, the resounding failure of the Israeli military in preventing the attacks has compounded the criticism towards the government. This discontentment has now extended to Israelis across the political spectrum, including those from the right wing.

In a recent poll conducted in Israel just before the war concerning the country's international standing and the government's handling of foreign policies, Israelis gave the government low marks in both areas.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media have reported that the leader of Israel Beitnu party and former defence minister, Avigdor Liberman, announced that he would only join the government if given a seat on the war council, which includes PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Minister Benny Gantz, in addition to observers and staff.