As the war between Hamas and Israel rages on, CNN’s Dana Bash wants Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to explain why he won’t “take personal responsibility” for failing to prevent the savage attack on his nation.
On Sunday’s “State of the Union,” Bash told the embattled prime minister, “I know you’ve been asked this several times, but I have had multiple people inside Israel reach out to me, knowing that I was going to interview you, and say the one thing they want to hear from you is that you take personal responsibility for failing to prevent the October 7th attacks and protecting your people.”
“I know you say the time for that will come after the war,” she continued. “Why won’t you take responsibility now?”
.@DanaBashCNN presses @Netanyahu on whether he takes any responsibility after the October 7 attacks: “This whole question will be addressed after the war.” pic.twitter.com/JcmZSXJubj — State of the Union (@CNNSOTU) November 12, 2023
“I’ve already addressed that many times,” Netanyahu replied. “And I said this whole question will be addressed after the war.”
“Why not now?” Bash pressed.
“Did people ask Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor that question?” he asked. “Did people ask George Bush after the surprise attack of September 11th?”
It isn’t the first time the prime minister has invoked Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
As pressure mounted on Netanyahu to declare a ceasefire in Gaza, the prime minister made clear it wasn’t going to happen.
“Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of Oct. 7,” he told the international press in late October. “Calls for a ceasefire or calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorists, surrender to barbarism, that will not happen.”
“The Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war. A war for a common future,” he stated.
“I’ve said we’re going to answer all these questions, including me,” Netanyahu told Bash. “I’m going to be asked tough questions.”
“Right now, I think what we have to do is unite the country for one purpose, one purpose alone, and that is to achieve victory,” he said. “That’s what I did. We’ve formed a unity government. The country’s united as we’ve never been before. And I think that’s what we have to pursue.”
“What the people expect me to do right now is two things,” he stated. “One, achieve this victory and bring the hostages back. And, second, assure that Gaza never becomes a threat to Israel again.”
“I’m going to answer all the questions that are required, including the questions of responsibility,” Netanyahu stressed when pressed by Bash for a third time.
“There will be time enough after the war,” he stated. “Let’s focus on victory. That’s my responsibility now.”
On X, reaction to Netanyahu’s “focus” is mixed.
“I get it,” wrote one user. “While I wish Bibi would have stood up and said that he was in charge on Oct 7th, I get that any little crack in he unity and focus of Israel in their mission to destroy Hamas once and for all is not healthy for Israelis or Israel’s future.”
“They were attacked,” noted another.
“Do better Dana,” urged a third.
I get it. While I wish Bibi would have stood up and said that he was in charge on Oct 7th, I get that any little crack in he unity and focus of Israel in their mission to destroy Hamas once and for all is not healthy for Israelis or Israel’s future — Chuck Hendrickson (@smithhere) November 12, 2023
They were attacked — jan (@onlyoneher) November 12, 2023
Do better Dana. — Janey (@BayAreaJaney) November 12, 2023
But some suggested that Netanyahu had personal reasons for failing to prevent the Hamas attack.
“Bibi wanted a strong Hamas, objected to actual elections in Gaza,” stated one user. “He needs this emergency to stay in power.”
Bibi wanted a strong Hamas, objected to actual elections in Gaza. He needs this emergency to stay in power. — Karl Wacker (@greenlantern025) November 12, 2023