PM refuses to attend 'politicized' FADC meeting

Netanyahu says meetings chaired by Kadima candidate Shaul Mofaz are "backdrop for the Kadima primary."

February 19, 2012 17:24
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Knesset c'tee

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 budget.

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.”

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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 budget reports.

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 leadership campaign.

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