Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday morning for firing former director of the Communications Ministry, Avi Berger.
Netanyahu, who is acting Communications Minister in the recently-inducted 34th government, dismissed Berger on Sunday.
"Is Bibi [Netanyahu] learning from our neighbors in the region?" Herzog wrote on Facebook. "He is waging a war on the media with all force. He fires a director from the Communications Ministry with a phone call so that everyone understands who is boss."
"We will not let him," he added.
Herzog wrote that his Zionist Union party would explore options for challenging the premier's decision.
In the statement, Herzog wrote that the struggle against Netanyahu's decision must also be taken up by the public and by the media.
Later Monday, at the Zionist Union faction meeting, Herzog continued his criticism of the prime minister.
"Kudos, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The most urgent problem for the citizens of Israel is the functioning of the Communications Ministry and it is important for me to thank you for your efficient and rapid attention on the matter," Herzog chided.
"The degrading dismissal by telephone of a valued director and the frantic transfer of authority from the Public Broadcasting Authority to the communications minister are no doubt appropriate and urgent first tasks of your government after you have completed the formation of your circus," he added.
Herzog continued by questioning the priories faced by the new government in its first week.
"Has an investigative committee already been formed to deal with the problems of Ethiopian youth? Have solutions been offered? Has a national plan for the country hatched?" Herzog listed in his rhetorical queries.
"These moves are reminiscent of Israel's neighbors who long ago forgot the role of the media," Herzog said.
"Perhaps Netanyahu does not love Erdogan [Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan] but he is undoubtedly learning his tricks," he added.
Herzog warned Netanyahu that if he "raises a hand against the media and freedom of expression" he would stand in his way with the Zionist Union behind him.
"We will not allow you to harm free Israel," the opposition leader concluded.
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