Despite Hamas attacks, Israel’s tech CEOs are calling for PM Netanyahu’s ouster; here’s why
Several tech leaders harshly criticised the prime minister for refusing to accept responsibility.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
NEGATING the notion of “you do not switch (leadership) during war”, several leading Israeli tech company leaders have called for prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ouster as soon as possible “to cut down losses”.
Dan Adika, the CEO and co-founder of tech firm WalkMe, on Tuesday (31) joined Amnon Shashua, the founder of self-driving auto technologies firm Mobileye, in calling for Netanyahu to step down following his government’s failures after the unprecedented attack by Hamas militants from Gaza on October 7.
Several other tech leaders also harshly criticised the prime minister for refusing to accept responsibility. “Netanyahu needs to go as soon as possible, despite the idea that ‘you don’t switch [leaders] during a war’ and ‘we shouldn’t talk about this now’,”
Adika spoke to Israeli business newspaper Calclalist, accusing the government of failing to operate in the wake of the deadly assault.
“He’s not fit to lead and needs to go,” the tech leader said.
Several security chiefs have accepted responsibility for the massive failure, but Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister who has been at the helm of affairs since 2009 except for a brief 13-month gap, has desisted from taking any blame for it.
More than 1,400 Israelis were killed and around 230 were taken hostage when Hamas carried out a dastardly attack infiltrating several communities in the south of Israel.
Shashua, who heads the self-driving car company Mobileye, earlier this week called for the Premier’s ouster, saying that his government was guilty of “failures, dissonance and incompetence”. “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,” Shashua wrote in an op-ed in the Calcalist.
Adika and the other CEOs, including Joel Bar-El of Trax and Oz Alon of Honeybook, were particularly outraged by a tweet posted by Netanyahu last week blaming the country’s security apparatus for failing to see the attacks coming.
The Israeli Prime Minister later removed the tweet on social media platform X following sharp reactions from leaders within his coalition and opposition alike with a rare apology.
“As CEO, the responsibility is always on me, I can’t blame managers below me. The Prime Minister is the CEO and the disaster occurred on his watch,” Tom Livne, head of Verbit, told the business daily.
“Our prime minister is disconnected from the reality on the ground and just looking for whom to blame,” the tech executive was quoted as saying. The ongoing war has hit the local economy hard with media reports quoting the daily expense incurred by the government standing at around $246 million.
Israeli currency Shekel has also seen a depreciation not witnessed in years following the second intifada (2000-2005). Some 200,000 Israelis are said to have been displaced from the south and the north of the country with the civil society and volunteers also pitching in a big way to help them out in distress.
The health ministry in Gaza run by Hamas has claimed that more than 8,300 people have been killed in the coastal Strip since Israel launched a retaliatory campaign to eliminate the militant group.