'Leftists, ex-security chiefs harming Israel's drive against Iran nuclear deal'

The economy minister posted an item on his Facebook page criticizing his political foes as well as former security officials.

April 9, 2015 17:05
2 minute read.
Naftali Bennett (R) is interviewed by CNN's Erin Burnett

Naftali Bennett (R) is interviewed by CNN's Erin Burnett. (photo credit: screenshot)


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Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett on Thursday accused “leftists and senior defense officials” of undermining the Israeli government’s global campaign against Iran’s nuclear program.

The economy minister posted an item on his Facebook page criticizing his political foes as well as former security officials - among them ex-Mossad director Efraim Halevy - for allowing themselves to “be used by the world to harm Israel.”

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“Stop interfering,” Bennett wrote. “I must confess something that has been bothering me. During a recent interview on CNN during which I was advocating for putting a stop to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, the interviewer told me, ‘The arguments are logical, but...’ before proceeding to cite quotes from Efraim Halevy, who was the head of Mossad 14 years ago.”

“Halevy portrays [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu as someone who is agitating for a military operation against Iran (not true), and as someone making illogical demands (not true),” Bennett wrote.


״ביטחוניסטים״ וחבריי מהשמאל - העולם משתמש בכם כדי לפגוע בישראל. הפסיקו להפריע. **אני חייב לשתף אתכם במשהו מטריד שארע ל...

Posted by ‎נפתלי בנט‎ on Thursday, April 9, 2015

Halevy harshly criticized Netanyahu on Monday for his insistence that world powers demand Iran recognize Israel's right to exist.

Netanyahu had said Friday that any final nuclear deal with Iran must include a clear and unambiguous recognition by Tehran of Israel's right to exist.

Netanyahu's comments came after a meeting of the security cabinet called to discuss the framework deal agreed upon Thursday between the world powers and Iran in Lausanne. This was the first time he has called for an explicit recognition of Israel by Iran.

Netanyahu said that Israel would not accept an agreement that “allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period.”

Speaking in an interview with Army Radio on Monday, Halevy said, "The demand from the Muslim world to recognize Israel's right to exist  is almost like asking them to change their religion."

According to Halevy, "In Islam they don't recognize Israel's right, nor do they recognize the right of other nations to exist."

Halevy's arguments apparently failed to persuade Bennett, who took aim at the center-left Zionist Union for what he says is its failure to adequately back Netanyahu on the Iranian matter.

“This has been happening all the time,” Bennett wrote. “People like [Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog], who said that ‘he trusts the Western powers to produce a good deal,’ [his running mate, Tzipi Livni], and others are undermining the Netanyahu government with regards to its Iran policy.”

“They are making it very difficult for us to stop the Iranian nuclear program,” he wrote.

Bennett appealed to “my friends on the left” to “accept the fact that the elections are over, and the public has said its piece.”

“Obviously, this is a democratic country, and you have a right to express viewpoints that oppose those of the government,” he wrote. “But on the issue of Iran, we have decided on a clear course of action, and the damage you are causing is irreparable.”

“We aren’t asking for your help,” Bennett wrote. “Just stop interfering, please. We have enough things to argue about. Let’s put Iran aside.”

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