top of page

Thoughts on the inane and inept leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu

Now is not the time for finger-pointing or playing the name-blame game. There will be, hopefully, a time in the not-too-distant future when accounts can be settled.

For now, at least Benjamin Netanyahu is on borrowed time.

It would appear that Benjamin Netanyahu believes that he is as pure as virgin snow and that he bears no reasonability for the catastrophic situation the country finds itself in.

Over the past ten days, several people have held up their hands and admitted their share of the guilty; Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel's national security chief, and Ronen Bar, the director of Shin Bet, to name just two.

What is noticeable by his deafening silence is that Netanyahu himself has not, as far as I am aware addressed the issue of responsibility. Although as we know from the past, Netanyahu is always the first to take personal credit for the ‘good news’ while ultrafast to blame others for mistakes, and foul-ups.

Netanyahu I guess does not subscribe to the notion of the "The buck stops here".

"The buck stops here" is a phrase that became popular during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. It was a sign on his desk in the Oval Office and signified his willingness to take responsibility for the difficult decisions that come with being the President of the United States.

In essence, it means that ultimate responsibility or accountability for a situation or problem rests with the person who says, "The buck stops here." This person is willing to accept the consequences of their actions or decisions. It's often used to indicate that someone is taking ownership of a problem and is not passing the blame to others.

Sounds just like Netanyahu, right?

To borrow a Tom Cruise phrase from the movie ‘A Few Good Men’, Netanyahu is not, or at least until now, known as someone who is ‘Galactically Stupid’.

And yet it would appear that in recent years he has forgotten the basic rule of a political figure, namely:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

The above is most often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but this is disputed:

This is probably the most famous of apparently apocryphal remarks attributed to Lincoln.

Despite being cited variously as from an 1856 speech, or an 1858 speech, there are no known contemporary records or accounts substantiating that he ever made the statement.

The earliest known appearance is October 29, 1886, in the Milwaukee Daily Journal. It later appeared in the New York Times on August 26 and August 27, 1887. The saying was repeated several times in newspaper editorials later in 1887. In 1888 and, especially, 1889, the saying became commonplace, used in speeches, advertisements, and portraits of Lincoln.

In 1905 and later, there were attempts to find contemporaries of Lincoln who could recall Lincoln saying this. Historians have not, generally, found these accounts convincing.

In many countries around the world, Netanyahu would have been removed by members of his party for the lackluster way he has managed the country in recent years. And certainly, his arrogance since October 7 has done nothing to inspire the nation. Despite his projection of himself, he is no Churchill.

Whether now, in the midst of war, or at some future date, Netanyahu could find himself charged with treason for his mismanagement. OK, I concede that maybe not in Israel but there is certainly no lack of countries where this could happen.

Treason and high treason are related legal terms, but they differ in terms of the seriousness of the offense and the potential penalties associated with them. The distinction between the two varies from one legal system to another, so it's important to consult the specific laws of a given jurisdiction for precise definitions. However, in many common law legal systems, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the difference can be summarized as follows:

Treason typically refers to the act of betraying one's own country or government by giving aid and comfort to its enemies or engaging in actions that undermine the security or well-being of the state. Think of Pollard as an American citizen and his actions against the US.

The definition of treason may include acts like espionage, providing support to terrorist organizations, or participating in armed rebellions against the government.

Penalties for treason can include imprisonment, fines, or forfeiture of property, depending on the specific legal provisions of the jurisdiction.

High treason is a more severe form of treason, often reserved for the gravest acts of betrayal against the state. It typically involves a direct attack on the government or the head of state.

High treason may include acts such as plotting to overthrow the government, attempting to assassinate the head of state, or leading an armed rebellion with the aim of overthrowing the government.

Penalties for high treason are generally more severe and can include the death penalty in some legal systems.

In many countries, including the United States, the legal definition and punishment for treason are specifically outlined in the constitution or other statutory laws. In the United States, for instance, the Constitution defines treason as "levying war against [the United States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort," and it requires at least two witnesses to the same overt act or a confession in open court to establish a conviction. The penalty for treason is not explicitly defined but is left to the discretion of Congress.

The distinction between treason and high treason is a matter of degree, with high treason generally referring to the most egregious and direct threats to the state's security and stability, often resulting in more severe penalties, including capital punishment.

It could be argued, that in certain countries, Sara Netanyahu is also guilty of treason. For example, a recent news story indicated that she was against Benny Gantz joining the war cabinet as this move may well reflect badly on her husband. The country is at war and still, her ego drives decision making. She naturally denied the story; well she would, wouldn’t she?

Remember there is no smoke without fire.

Maybe the stories about her mental state have some veracity.

Some weeks ago, Ron Koffman on his radio show claimed that “Ultra-Orthodox Jews are a cancer to Israeli society”. "Thirteen percent of the population is a cancer within Israeli society".

Cancer is of course too strong a word, but sentiment was at the time running high and no doubt will again in the future once the current crisis is behind us.

Heartening is this story from Israel Hayom: “About 2,000 Haredim Appealed to the IDF to Enlist in the War”

What I have not heard or read, thank goodness is some crackpot rabbi proclaiming that the Oct 7 attack was brought on by Jews not keeping Shabbat, not eating koshe, and not following a religious lifestyle.

No doubt such a statement will come at some point.

May we all know better days. We will win.


bottom of page