Netanyahu and Bennett.
(photo credit: ABIR SULTAN / POOL / AFP,REUTERS)
Education Minister Naftali Bennett declined a compromise proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday in response to the former’s protest over Security Cabinet ministers not receiving sufficient intelligence before votes.
Last week, Bennett said his Bayit Yehudi party will not vote in favor of Avigdor Liberman’s appointment as defense minister if Netanyahu does not appoint a military secretary to the Security Cabinet, in order to better facilitate communications between the defense establishment and ministers in the Security Cabinet.
The coalition would need Bayit Yehudi’s votes to have a majority to authorize Liberman’s new portfolio.
Bennett’s call came after portions of the State Comptroller’s report
on 2014’s Operation Protective Edge leaked, which were critical of the Netanyahu and then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon for insufficiently informing ministers of what was happening. The Winograd Report following the 2006 Second Lebanon War also called for Security Cabinet members to be better informed.
On Friday, Netanyahu announced that he intends to constitute a special committee tasked with devising recommendations on how to improve the way Security Cabinet ministers receive information on national security matters.
The team will be led by former head of the National Security Council Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror.
Other members of the committee will include Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yohanan Locker and Joseph Ciechanover, who has served as legal counsel for the Defense and Foreign Ministries.
The team will submit their recommendations within three weeks, the Prime Minister's Office said.
Bennett, however, rejected the compromise, which Netanyahu announced to the public without informing him.
“No spin by the prime minister will save lives, and certainly not another meaningless committee of the kind he forms from time to time,” Bayit Yehudi’s spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman referred to the panel Locker led on the defense budget, which recommended in 2015 ways to make the IDF more efficient, while gradually growing its budget over the years, pointing out that it still has not been discussed in the security cabinet nor implemented.
"We suggest that, instead of dealing in petty politics and briefings against the Bayit Yehudi all day, the prime minister simply open the [comptroller’s] report on Protective Edge, where he will see findings written in blood that are screaming to be implemented.”
She added: “Neutralizing the cabinet is a clear and present danger, and no spin will cover up our demand, which still stands, to fix the failures of Protective Edge and fix the Security Cabinet.”