Photo: AP
Lieberman. 'Cynical use of Israel's Arabs'
Photo: AP
Photo: Haim Zach
Peretz. Deep crisis
Photo: Haim Zach

Lieberman: Every day with Peretz endangers Israel

Minister for strategic affairs says, 'The man is engaged in political manipulations and is cynically taking advantage of Israel's Arabs. This is not the defense minister Israel needs.' Peretz in response: If Israel is in danger, it is due to a racist party like Israel Our Home

Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman on Monday slammed his fellow government member, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, saying that "as long as this man is in his post, the State of Israel and its security are severely harmed."


During an Israel Our Home faction meeting, Lieberman addressed the appointment of the first Arab minister, Knesset Member Raleb Majadele of the Labor Party.


"I stress that we have no problem with Raleb, but a big problem with the defense minister… The way this has been done is simply despised. The way the prime minister was informed, the way the Labor Party voted on it, and there is no wonder that he had to call a new meeting of the party's Central Committee in order to vote again."


"There was a cynical use here both of the issue and of the fact that the man is ready to use official tools in order to improve his situation inside the party or for internal party needs. This is severe in itself," Lieberman continued, pointing a finger at Peretz.


"If he had made this appointment a week after (former Minister Ophir) Pines resigned, it would have seemed completely different. The fact that this is during the primaries is a cynical use both of the MK himself and of the entire issue of Israel's Arabs.


"The man is engaged in political manipulations, and this is not the defense minister Israel needs," Lieberman claimed, clarifying that "I have no problem not with Christians and not with Muslims. I have no problem with any person who accepts the principle according to which the State of Israel is Jewish and Zionist."


Peretz: Lieberman has a lot to prove

The defense minister, on his part, was quick to slam Lieberman in a simultaneous faction meeting.


"It appears that the decision to appoint Raleb Majadele as a minister in the State of Israel is bringing about many disproportional reactions, which deviate from any rule of public discourse. I believe that if the State of Israel is in danger, it is the danger concealed in a racist party like Israel Our Home, because it appears that this move is causing some discomfort to them, as well as a deep crisis," he stated.


"They will have to decide. As far as we are concerned, we will not respond to these sayings. Avigdor Lieberman must make many moves in order to prove that he has contributed anything to the State of Israel and to security, and his contribution in other areas is well known.


"As the days pass and the reactions from the racist party grow, looking for a way to deviate the main argument, we must unite around this decision, and I am positive that the Labor Party will provide the required baking," Peretz concluded, referring to Majadele's appointment.


פרסום ראשון: 01.15.07, 15:07
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