Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "inept and clumsy" handling of a recent transportation fiasco, which delayed thousands of commuters last Sunday, was a failure in leadership that caused harm to the public interest, an opposition member of the Knesset posited Saturday.
Speaking at a cultural event before a small audience in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon LeZion, Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli addressed the train crisis that engulfed Israeli politics over the last week.
"For infrastructure work to be carried out on the Shabbat is an overall normal occurrence, which only points how clumsy and inept the prime minister handled the situation," the MK said.
What was mishandled, according to Shmuli, was Netanyahu's acquiescence to his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners who demanded that train work not be conducted on the Sabbath.
Threatening to dismantle the government if the condition was not met, Netanyahu agreed and pushed the infrastructure work back behind schedule, resulting in thousands of commuters being delayed throughout Sunday.
"When the moment of truth came, Netanyahu gave into the ultra-Orthodox parties, which created complete chaos for commuters, instead of preferring the public interest," Shmuli added.
Shortly thereafter, Netanyahu declared the crisis regarding work by Israel Railways on Shabbat to be over, after the High Court of Justice on Tuesday issued an interim order permitting the work to continue, and stating that any order to the contrary is invalid.