Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon attended a conference of Jewish Leadership activists this week, headed up by Moshe Feiglin. The Jewish Leadership group is considered the far right-leaning segment of the Likud.
The Prime Minister's Office announced Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will summon Ya'alon for a face-to-face talk on the backdrop of statements he made against Peace Now at the conference when the prime minister returns from vacation.
During the meeting, part of which was broadcast Wednesday evening on Channel 2, Minister Ya'alon used particularly harsh words against left-wing activists and Peace Now members.
When asked by one of the attendees about plans to dismantle the Bnei Adam outpost, he responded, "We again are dealing with the issue of the virus, Peace Now – the elitists, if you may – who have incurred great damage. From my perspective, Jews can and need to live in all of the Land of Israel for all eternity."
Ya'alon warned against folding to US pressure. "There are certain things we need to say – up to here. When you do things you don't believe in, you enter a slippery slope because they put pressure on you, and you keep rolling downwards."
"I'm not afraid of the Americans," said Ya'alon, drawing loud applause from the audience.
Peace Now: Ya'alon a strategic threatThe host, Feiglin, thanked Ya'alon with warm words and promised to support him if he continues on this path. "It is important for us that cooperation come out of this. Every single positive step you make – and it is clear that you will make many – within our party, you will find this growing public helping you along. With the help of God, we will do good things together," said Feiglin to Ya'alon.
Ya'alon is the Likud candidate most favored by Feiglin's camp during primaries, such that such ideological closeness is not an anomaly.
Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said in response, "Ya'alon is a real strategic threat to Israeli democracy. His statements are dangerous and indicate Peace Now as a target. It is best that Ya'alon focus on the issues of his office, if there are any."
The deputy prime minister made statements earlier this week that raised a few eyebrows in the cabinet. While visiting the evacuated West Bank settlement Homesh together with three other government ministers, he said, "The disengagement boosted jihadist Islam. Withdrawals strengthen the jihadists and terrorism."
He also said that returning to Homesh must be seriously considered.