Defense Minister Ehud Barak strongly criticized the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, blasting the latter's statement suggesting that the European members of the UN Security Council were "irrelevant."
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In an interview with Israel Radio, Barak said that "considering Israel's standing in the international community we have to be smart – not just right. No good could come from unnecessarily escalating tensions with Germany, France and the UK."
Barak stressed that he believed that "the Europeans are wrong and we are right," but said that the Foreign Ministry erred in its response: "There's a difference between issuing a response and making so much noise it becomes headlines."
Israel, he added, needs to maintain good relations with its powerful EU allies: "We call upon Sarkozy and Cameron in matters which are of great importance to Israel, like the attempts to pursue ICC action against us – so we certainly don't want to alienate them."
As for the potential damage in the Foreign Ministry's statement, Barak said that "there's no need to get carried away."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's media advisor, Tzachi Moshe, later addressed Barak's criticism, saying that "We don't respond to heads of factions that hold less than six mandates."
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