Skip to content

London Economist Says It's Time To Sack Netanyahu; He's Botching Everything

Under the headline “Netanyahu is botching the war. Time to sack him,” the City of London’s Economist bemoans in a Jan. 3 article that “Bibi” Netanyahu has made a mess of things. “There is mayhem in the Middle East,” it charges, listing all the ways in which the region is blowing apart—the dangerous border situation with Lebanon, the bombing in Iran, a possible Israeli war with Hezbollah, etc. Two things are clear, it asserts: “the attacks of October 7th are reshaping the Middle East. And under Benyamin Netanyahu’s leadership, Israel is making blunders that undermine its own security.”

But what most concerns the Economist is, that with its botched response to Hamas’s attack in Gaza (while supporting its plan to remove Hamas from power), including not using its force “judiciously,” preventing aid from coming in, and not creating a path to a moderate Palestinian state, Israel has messed up plans to ensure “deterrence” against Iran—including a war? Had Israel taken a more rational path, this bankers’ rag complains, it would have helped to maintain bipartisan support for Israel in the U.S. and elsewhere. “This is crucial: America deters Iran and backs the rapprochement between Israel and Gulf states that also opposes Iran’s influence. Most importantly it underwrites the security of Israel itself.”

Alas, “Mr. Netanyahu has eschewed this logic,” showing instead needless disregard for civilian lives (22,000 dead), preventing water, food and medicine from reaching Gaza, providing no safe zones. Worse, Bibi doesn’t appear to have any post-war plans “other than anarchy or military occupation,” while extremists in his coalition “outrageously” talk of permanently displacing Palestinians from the territory. The Economist details the disaster in northern Israel, warning of a “military quagmire” should Israel invade Lebanon, cause its state to collapse, and “wreck relations with America.” Maybe diplomacy could create a buffer state between Hezbollah and Israel’s border, it suggests, “but a regional plan is needed to contain and deter Iran. That requires the support of America, other Western allies and, ideally, the Gulf Arab states, all of which Mr. Netanyahu is alienating. For Israel’s sake, he has to go.” A wiser Israeli leader, the London financiers say, “might understand that famine in Gaza, anarchy or open-ended occupation there and the erosion of American backing will not make Israel safer.”