By MARTIN SHERMAN
Recent developments reveal a dramatic erosion in Netanyahu’s strategic perspectives that makes it impossible to justify his continued incumbency.
Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists…they encourage precisely the terrorist blackmail they are supposed to defuse. — Binyamin Netanyahu, Fighting Terrorism (1995)
What sort of people and government would agree to free the murderers of its own children and do it in the name of a presumed “goodwill” toward irreconcilable enemies? What might this people and government be thinking, especially when its hoped for quid pro quo is an obvious delusion? — Prof. Louis Rene Beres, “A crime without a punishment,” July 16, 2013
Binyamin Netanyahu must resign or be induced to do so.
By any measure of moral integrity and/or statesmanship, he simply cannot be allowed to continue to function as prime minister. He has deceived the public and misled the nation. He has defrauded the voters on whose support he gained political prominence and on whose ballots he ascended to power. He has reneged on past pledges and renounced the values he professed to cherish.
But worst of all, he has betrayed himself and the most basic principles he himself espoused as the foundation of his political credo and which he led the Israeli electorate and the Jewish people to believe he was committed to.
Repeatedly proved unequal to challenges
Netanyahu is a man of extraordinary talent with a remarkably impressive record of achievement.
He was an extraordinary UN ambassador, a superb foreign minister, and a highly effective finance minister. Indeed, in most industrial countries, he might even have made an outstanding prime minister.
But not in Israel. Here the demands are different and more taxing than elsewhere, the margins of error narrower, and the cost of error not only greater, but potentially tragic and terminal.
Accordingly, despite his undeniable capabilities, despite the distinction with which he has served his country in various capacities over four decades, as the nation’s chief executive he has proved himself — time and time again — unequal to crucial challenges.
Never his most caustic critic
Readers of this column will recall that I have never been one of Netanyahu’s most caustic critics.
Although I have differed sharply with him over several of his decisions, I have defended him, in both the local and the foreign press, against the almost maniacal malevolence of the media toward him (and his spouse), and its Pavlovian impulse to hold him responsible for every misfortune that befalls mankind — from droughts in New Mexico to floods in Southeast Asia.
As recently as January 10, in “Netanyahu: The Pathology,” I wrote, “Netanyahu has been given little credit for the numerous impressive feats he, and the governments he headed, have achieved,” and remarked that “the venomous ad hominem attacks on the PM… have long exceeded the limits of rational criticism and reasoned dissent.”