Conservative NYT columnist Stephens joins clamor against Netanyahu

New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens. (Jason Smith via JTA)
New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens. (Jason Smith via JTA)

Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens calls for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down in a new column, showing the breadth of discontent with the Israeli leader even among pro-Israel hawks.

“Netanyahu’s disastrous engagement with Hamas before it carried out the Oct. 7 massacre and his conduct of the war since have made [his departure] vital,” Stephens writes. “In a thousand years, Jews will remember Netanyahu’s name with scorn — all the more so for his refusal to take responsibility for anything.”

Netanyahu has said that holding elections mid-war would harm the military effort and hostage talks, but “that argument looks increasingly self-serving the longer the war drags out,” Stephens writes.

“It’s dangerous for a country at war to be led by someone the people neither support nor trust,” he adds, noting opinion polls that show most Israelis would not vote for Netanyahu’s Likud party or its allies were elections held now.

An Israeli protester carries a sign citing New York Times columnist Bret Stephens at a demonstration in Tel Aviv on March 2, 2019, against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Stephens previously called for Netanyahu’s ouster in 2019 due to his fraud indictments and increasing dalliance with the far right. At the time, he praised Netanyahu’s leadership, calling him “a remarkably effective prime minister.”

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