'Citizens of Israel should know their PM is a liar'

Knesset c'tee chairman shuts down meeting after Netanyahu's spokesman tells media that Mofaz said Gantz lied.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 16, 2012 13:39
1 minute read.
Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz

Shaul Mofaz 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz put an end to a committee meeting that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was participating in Monday afternoon, yelling at the prime minister. He later told reporters, "The citizens of Israel should know that their prime minister is a liar."

An hour earlier, a spokesman from the Prime Minister's Office put out a statement alleging that Mofaz said IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz did not report truthfully about the defense budget and expenses. Mofaz vehemently denied making the statement.

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After hearing about the press statement, Mofaz stopped the meeting, yelled at Netanyahu and ordered his media team out of the committee chambers. He told the prime minister to instruct his media team to correct themselves. Netanyahu was visibly taken aback by the incident.

"You do not misquote a committee chairman, who was a chief of staff, criticizing the chief of staff," Mofaz continued. "There are things that cannot be done in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee."

According to Mofaz's spokesman, the committee chairman said there is a problem with transparency in the budget, and with coordination between the prime minister and finance minister in regards to the defense budget.

Speaking with reporters after shutting down the committee meeting, Mofaz called the incident an "unprecedented, villainous act by the prime minister and his media staff."

"I said that the IDF never falsely reported its budget, and I rely on the chief of General Staff and those in uniform to report the truth on the budget," Mofaz continued, "That is what I said."

What Netanyahu did in the committee, the Kadima MK added, "no prime minister has ever allowed himself to do ... He is lying to Israel about the economy, lying about diplomacy, and as of today he is also lying about the most sensitive parts of the defense budget."

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