Bennett slams Barak, Ya'alon for 'self-flagellation and cynicism'

Education minister blasts former primer minister and defense minister for recent criticism of Israel's current leadership.

June 19, 2016 13:20
1 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday lashed out at former prime minister Ehud Barak and former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon for criticizing the country's current leadership, accusing them of promoting a "festival of self-flagellation and cynicism."

On Thursday, Ya'alon said he was concerned about the moral "erosion" of Israel's society and the instability and weakness of the government. Barak for his part, has berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and what he say is the recent downward spiral of the government.

In an interview with Army Radio, Bennett sidelined his recent coalition disagreements with Netanyahu and defended the government, saying he rejected the criticism of the leadership and Israeli public by the two former IDF chiefs of staff.

There is "a festival of self-flagellation and pessimism," Bennett charged in an interview with Army Radio. "They say that the country has become brutalized and that our country isn't alright."

"We had a difficult year in the face of terror," Bennett said. "Israel is defeating terrorism with great bravery and heroism."

"We aren't a perfect country and we have a lot to improve - but I don't share the pessimism that is permeating the generals," Bennett said in condemnation of Bennett and Ya'alon. 

Both Ya'alon and Barak have recently attack Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Ya'alon announcing on Thursday that he would run in the country's next election, and Barak calling for Netanyahu to be defeated.

In the interview, Bennett lambasted Barak, saying his positions on peace talks with the Palestinian weren't necessarily popular with the entire populace when he served as prime minister.

"It could be that part of the nation doesn't accept the results of elections," Bennett stated, indicating that there are always disagreements with government policy.

Barak "offered to hand over most the western Old City [of Jerusalem] to 'Palestine,' return to the '67 border and withdraw from the Golan Heights - people did no accept the position," Bennett asserted.

Bennett then challenged Barak to run in Israel's next election if he wanted see the public's response.

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