Uzi Arad 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his longtime but now erstwhile
ally and confidant Uzi Arad went head to head over the weekend, with Arad giving
a searing interview about Netanyahu to Yediot Aharonot, and Netanyahu responding
to Arad with a one line put-down during a press conference in
“You don’t judge a man during his time of distress,” Netanyahu
said, when asked to comment on Arad’s interview.
Arad, who served as the
head of the National Security Council until Netanyahu fired him in May 2011 for
leaking sensitive security information to a journalist, something Arad denies,
charged that Netanyahu believes it is acceptable to lie to the state comptroller
because he feels the comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, “wants to destroy
Sources close to the prime minister, in an explanation of
Netanyahu’s comment, said that Arad – who was in contact with Netanyahu on a
regular basis even after he was dismissed from his position – was interested in
serving as an envoy for Netanyahu, but that the plan did not
The implication was that Arad chose to air dirty laundry
from the Prime Minister’s Office publicly because of frustration at not getting
a job he wanted.
“The true test of Israel’s government is first of all
security, the economy and the diplomatic field,” Netanyahu said about Arad’s
criticism at the press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Netanyahu said Israel is strong and its deterrence is working,
its economy is prosperous, and it has succeeded diplomatically in convincing the
world’s leaders that a nuclear Iran is a danger to the entire
“Those are the true tests by which the government I head should be
judged,” he said.
Arad’s interview detailing in uncomplimentary terms the
workings inside the Prime Minister’s Office comes as the office is still reeling
from the forced resignation of chief of staff Natan Eshel for unbecoming
behavior toward a female subordinate.