Will Bennett be fired for opposing Liberman appointment?

May 26, 2016  

Officials in the Israeli political system are trying to convince Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett to back the appointment of Avigdor Liberman as Defense Minister, Channel 2 News reported Thursday night.

According to the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering firing Jewish Home’s ministers – Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel – if they object to Liberman’s appointment. However, the report said, it is believed an agreement with Jewish Home will be reached in order to prevent such a move and allow for the expansion of the coalition.

In recent days, Bennett has demanded the appointment of a military secretary to update the Cabinet on IDF affairs at all times, and has threatened to oppose Liberman’s appointment if that demand isn’t met. Bennett’s demand has been supported by the left as well as by various top-ranking military officials, including Prof. Uzi Arad, former IDF spokesman Avi Benayahu and Dr. Yoaz Hendel.

The demand came following a report on Operation Protective Edge and the Second Lebanon War, which found that critical intelligence was not shared with Cabinet members and that they were not properly trained for their position, which resulted in a lack of competence on the part of some ministers.

Netanyahu, however, did not respond to Bennett’s statement, and the latter said he refused to back down from it.

Speaking Wednesday in a speech at Tel Aviv, Bennett explained the reason for his demand, and said that “no one should have to raise his hand and vote in favor of a significant decision to send our sons to Gaza or Lebanon, knowing some of them will not return, without knowing and understanding what he is voting for, without having the entire picture and knowledge, without having the ability to ask the right questions.”

Bennett added, “I saw it with my own eyes as a commander during the Second Lebanon War, and as a member of the Cabinet during Operation Protective Edge. This must not happen again.”

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