Michaeli: Netanyahu endangering hostages to protect his political career

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

File - Labor Party chair MK Merav Michaeli announces that she will step down from the party leadership, at a press conference in Tel Aviv, December 7, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
File - Labor Party chair MK Merav Michaeli announces that she will step down from the party leadership, at a press conference in Tel Aviv, December 7, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is endangering the Hamas-held hostages in order to protect his political career, Labor chief Merav Michaeli asserts at her party’s weekly faction meeting.

“At the beginning of the war, Netanyahu stated that the goals of the war are both to topple the Hamas government and to bring the hostages home,” she says.

“101 days have passed and the truth must be told – Netanyahu has failed. Neither of these goals have been achieved,” she argues.

“What is required to bring the hostages home now is an agreement that will include a cessation of hostilities. Every day that passes endangers our hostages. We must bring them home now,” she says.

“But the cessation of hostilities endangers the continuation of Netanyahu’s rule. His coalition wants to continue the fighting, and it is less urgent for them to return the hostages. So Netanyahu is endangering the hostages in order to preserve himself and his government. We must not allow that to happen.”

“The return of the hostages and bringing down Hamas means that we must talk about the day after, to promote a political agreement with a strong Palestinian Authority,” she continues, asserting that “Netanyahu’s refusal to do any of this means abandoning our hostages and abandoning Israel’s national security.”

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