Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with his Czech counterpart Bohuslav Sobotka in Jerusalem, May 22, 2016.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday that the press was engaged in “whining” and “fear-mongering” over the imminent elevation of Avigdor Liberman to the position of defense minister in the place of the departed Moshe Ya’alon.
During a press conference alongside Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the premier said that his “proven” track record in protecting Israel has shown that “I’ve haven’t done a bad job.”
“I am looking out for the country’s future,” Netanyahu said. “I’ve proven this as prime minister. In politics, a lot of things get said. I actually make an effort to say as few words as possible on a personal level. I don’t deal in words. I deal in deeds.”
The Israeli political establishment as well as media commentators expressed alarm over the weekend in the wake of the surprise move by Netanyahu to relieve Ya’alon of his duties as defense minister and offer the plum position to Liberman.
Critics on the Left slammed the move as further proof that Israel was veering toward fascism
, with some even suggesting that the country’s political culture gave them pause about whether to raise their children here
Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed the outcry.
“In the years that I have served as prime minister, I’ve entered in the line of fire, looking out for Israel’s security,” the premier said. “I’ve led a defense policy that has been aggressive yet measured. Its goal has been to protect Israel’s security as well as to promote peace initiatives in the region.”
“I hear the voices in the press, hear the self-flagellation and attempts at fear-mongering,” Netanyahu said. “I suggest that people do away with the whining.”