Economy Minister Naftali Bennett voiced his support on Saturday night for Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, calling recent pointed criticism of Ya'alon "unnecessary and misguided."
Bennett backed Ya'alon for expressing his often-controversial positions as the defense minister faces harsh criticism from Washington over disparaging remarks he made Monday about US policy in the region.
Ya'alon "is a very good Defense Minister, even if his positions are not accepted by commentators and others. That is a good thing," Bennett said on his Facebook account.
The United States said on Friday that it was still waiting for an apology from Ya'alon over critical comments that he made about President Barack Obama earlier this week.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Friday that the US is “disappointed with the lack of an apology” by Ya'alon. Psaki added that the US still had "concerns" about Ya'alon's "pattern of behavior."
Psaki said that an apology from Ya'alon would be a "natural next step."
"His comments, as we’ve stated a couple times, don’t reflect the true nature of our relationship with Israel," she said.
Among the impugned remarks that Ya'alon made on Tuesday at Tel Aviv University, was that in light of developments on crises in the Middle East, relations with China and with Russia over the annexation of Crimea, Obama's "image in the world is feebleness."
After the US criticism Ya'alon spoke with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Wednesday night, saying that his comments "were not intended to express opposition, criticism or offense to the United States," adding that maintaining strong ties with the United States is Israel's utmost priority.