Amnon Shashua: We must replace the government now
Amnon Shashua: We must replace the government now
When leadership fails so resoundingly for such a long period, we must cut our losses and do it quickly. The only solution to the current situation in Israel is to replace the government, and it needs to happen immediately.
Israeli citizens have found themselves in a state of continuous uncertainty since Saturday, October 7. In warfare, there is some natural uncertainty: how the fighting in the south will develop, the war’s measurable objectives, whether the fighting in the north will escalate into a full-blown war, how the information war is being conducted, the international community’s reaction, and the players we'll have to deal with at the end of the day. However, there is also a new dimension of uncertainty - one of the worst Israel has ever experienced - stemming from a leadership vacuum.
The immense comfort derived from the speeches and the presence of the President of the United States exposed this major issue – we are a nation without a leader. Even though it's been 22 days since the start of the conflict, the government is still weak, not functioning properly, and struggling to make decisions and act efficiently. This is a government that doesn’t function well in normal days and has neglected its responsibility, pushing its people into the abyss and bringing us to the brink of a civil war.
An absolute failure in leadership
Since the beginning of the war until today, the government has displayed an absolute failure in leadership. It's unnecessary to list the long line of failures, dissonance, and incompetence. More than that, the conflict of interests characterizing the government, led by a great concern for its political survival, is more damaging than the war itself. Furthermore, the conflict of interest that characterizes this government and prime minister raises grave concern that they are more concerned with shifting responsibility for failure than with the good of the country - all this during a war.
Israel is at a critical inflection point where the steps we take in the coming months will determine our ability as a nation to restore a sense of security for our residents, rebuild resilience, and maintain a strong economy. These are steps that will require a change in the reality of the south that will impact all areas within Israel and beyond. This requires leadership free from conflicts of interest, that solely focuses on the well-being of the country, that unites the people rather than divides them, not only during war but also in the days to follow. We need a prime minister who will lead us to victory while abolishing unnecessary government ministries, strengthening mutual trust, professionalism, and eliminating political opportunism, at least until the end of the war.
When leadership fails so resoundingly for such a long period, we must cut our losses and do it quickly. The only solution to the current situation in Israel is to replace the government, and it needs to happen immediately. It seems that the current leadership, including many of its ministers, is not moving towards accepting responsibility and giving up their seats. Therefore, the most efficient way to replace them without causing further political turmoil is through a constructive vote of no confidence. It is the duty of members of the Knesset to lead a swift and efficient transition to a lean and precise government. The cynicism of recent years may have made us forget, but we have many public representatives from various parties in the Knesset who have the good of the state at heart. Some of them have extensive experience in crucial government ministries, while those who hold the reins at this moment would function better elsewhere.
Our strength lies in our ability to change
Many have great concerns about such a move in the midst of a conflict. We must ask ourselves if these concerns do not stem from a mental rigidity and a stubborn attachment to the familiar during times of uncertainty. If there isn't one continuous path being followed, then why should we fear change? The claim that such a step weakens us in the face of our enemy is incorrect. Israel is a democratic state, capable of replacing its leaders when they fail to meet the requirements. This is our strength.
Furthermore, we must remember and not deny that we are not the only ones observing this governmental dysfunction and leadership instability. It is evident to all, both among our friends and our enemies.
This is not a political proposal. It is not about right versus left, conservatives versus liberals, or religious versus secular. We are not in a situation where we can afford to engage in politics. We must all look in the mirror and do what is right for the country.
Professor Amnon Shashua is the Founder and CEO of Mobileye and a recipient of the Israel Prize. The text reflects his personal opinion.