Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back Sunday at CNN host Dana Bash as she pressed him on taking responsibility for the barbarous Oct. 7 attack carried out by Hamas.
Bash asked the prime minister if he will comply with some of his citizens’ requests to “take personal responsibility” for not preventing the attack.
“I know you say that time for that will come after the war. Why won’t you take responsibility now?” Bash asked on “State of the Union.”
“I’ve already addressed that many times and I said this whole question will be addressed after the war,” Netanyahu said.
“Why not now?” Bash interjected.
“Well, did people ask Franklin Roosevelt, after Pearl Harbor, that question? Did people ask George Bush after the surprise attack on [September] 11? Look, it’s a question that needs to be asked,” the prime minister continued. (RELATED: Prime Minister Netanyahu Vows To ‘Dismantle,’ ‘Obliterate’ Hamas As Troops Amass Along Border, Casualties Rise)
“I think those questions were asked,” Bash said.
“And I’ve said that one thing that is important — and I’ve said we’re gonna answer all these questions, including me, I’m gonna be asked 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. That’s what I did, we formed a unity government, the country’s united as never before, and I think that’s what we have to pursue. And what the people expect me to do right now is two things: one, achieve this victory and bring the hostages back and second, be sure that Gaza never becomes a threat to Israel again.”
“And to Israelis who are disappointed that you still won’t take responsibility, you say?” Bash interrupted.
Netanyahu repeated that all of the questions raised about his handling of the war will be answered in time, but said his current responsibility is achieving victory against Hamas.
A poll continued by the Ma’ariv newspaper found that a vast majority of Israelis, 80%, said Netanyahu bears responsibility for security failures that reportedly allowed for the relentless attack that left at least 1,400 Israelis dead, according to Reuters. Over two-thirds of those in Netanyahu’s party also believe he should accept responsibility. The poll surveyed 510 respondents between Oct. 18 and 19 with a 4.3% margin of error.
Netanyahu’s coalition partner, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, said the government and security leadership failed to properly protect the country from a potential attack but has not taken personal responsibility, according to Reuters.
During the attack, Hamas terrorists raped, kidnapped and burned Israelis alive, even reportedly beheading a handful of infants. Over 200 people are currently being held hostage inside of the Gaza Strip, some of whom are American citizens, per the outlet. Terrorists threatened to slaughter Israeli hostages on live broadcasts if Israel continued its airstrikes, per the outlet.