Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at FADC 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he refuses to attend
an upcoming Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on the defense
Netanyahu explained that although he respects the democratic
process, he will not let his or any other government office “serve as a backdrop
for the [March 27] Kadima primary.”
Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz
(Kadima) is running against current party chairwoman Tzipi Livni and MK Avi
Dichter to lead Kadima.
Last month, a member of the prime minister’s
staff leaked information about a closed meeting of the committee and misquoted
Mofaz as having said IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz lied in defense
Immediately afterward, Mofaz called a press conference,
in which he said: “The citizens of Israel should know that their prime minister
is a liar.” The next day, Mofaz banned Netanyahu’s staff from attending future
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meetings.
At the time, the Likud
Party spokeswoman slammed Mofaz’s “pathetic show.” According to the spokeswoman,
the committee chairman’s actions were planned in advance as part of his party