While a civilian would be better suited for the post of defense minister than a military figure, "this doesn’t mean every moron can serve as defense minister," Moshe Arens said Saturday.
Arens, a highly regarded civilian DM who served in the post as part of past Likud governments, was speaking at a lecture in Beersheba. His remark was an implied jab at former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, a widely criticized civilian appointment.
"When I served as defense minister, I was familiar with military issues," Arens said. "The moment we see a civilian taking up the post without knowing the issues and while conveying a 'tell me what to do' attitude, he has already failed."
While Arens did not mention Peretz by name, the former DM and current Knesset member's office issued the following response: "Arens' remarks stem from arrogance, crudeness, and ignorance. With every passing day, Israel's citizens realize the significance of Amir Peretz' contribution to the defense establishment and to the IDF."
"Today, it's clear that the Second Lebanon War resulted in great achievements, in terms of creating deterrence and maintaining quiet in the north," the statement read. "As defense minister, Peretz took significant decisions during and after the war, leaving in his wake a better trained and equipped military, after taking decisions that his predecessors delayed."