After PM fires him, Danon faces Likud backlash

"It was wrong to criticize Netanyahu at such a sensitive time," says Deputy Transportation Minister Hotovely.

July 17, 2014 06:12
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Danon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon will officially leave his post at 9:30 on Friday morning, 48 hours after he received his dismissal letter from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The prime minister announced Danon’s firing to great fanfare on Tuesday night.

But when Danon called to ask for his dismissal letter, he was told that it would only be ready the following morning.

Netanyahu sacked Danon for his harsh criticism of the prime minister’s handling of Operation Protective Edge.

Following the dismissal Danon continued to accuse the prime minister of enacting “feeble leftist policies.”

Danon faced criticism on Wednesday from MKs in his Likud party, who accused him in closed conversations of putting his personal political advancement ahead of the good of the country. They said Danon had chosen the wrong time to win points with the Likud’s right-wing grassroots.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely, for instance, said that during an IDF operation it was important to support the prime minister.

It was wrong to criticize Netanyahu at such a sensitive time, she said.

“Most of the public supports the prime minister,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said. “The prime minister is not the prime minister of Likud. He is the prime minister of Israel, and he has to do what is best for Israel. God forbid he should put political considerations first.”

Hanegbi defended Danon’s right to his political opinions but said that in politics “the timing and place in which statements are made is important.”

Danon’s associates said he had received tens of thousands of messages supporting him, including from Labor MKs who praised him for standing up to Netanyahu.

Danon’s statement defending himself after he was fired received more than 40,000 likes on Facebook.

“I am obligated to express my opinion even when I am in the minority,” he wrote on Facebook Wednesday night.

“In this instance I expressed the opinion of the majority in the country.”

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