Danny Ayalon 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Danny Ayalon, the former deputy foreign minister who testified against his erstwhile boss Avigdor Liberman during the latter's trial in Jerusalem, used his Facebook page to slam the Yisrael Beytenu chairman on Wednesday.
"If I were Liberman, I would make an effort to defend myself instead of wasting energy slandering others," Ayalon wrote on his Facebook page. "This trial is the State of Israel vs. Liberman, not Danny Ayalon."
Liberman is being tried for fraud and breach of trust. Authorities say the former foreign minister broke the law when he failed to report his onetime ambassador to Belarus, Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh, for showing him classified details of the police investigation that was launched against him. Ayalon testified that Liberman pressured him to approve Ben-Aryeh's appointment as ambassador to Latvia, a charge that Liberman denies.
Turning to Ayalon, Liberman testified on Wednesday that his former deputy was never a close-trusted person (Ayalon testified he was one of Liberman's right-hand men), and he never ordered him or pressured about any appointment.
Earlier in May, during his testimony in the trial, Ayalon said that Liberman had multiple special meetings with him with no one else present where he said that he wanted Ben-Aryeh appointed as ambassador to Latvia.
Contradicting Ayalon's accusations, Liberman stated that he never met with Ayalon to discuss appointments just the two of them, neither regarding Ben-Aryeh nor any other appointments. He said that the Foreign Ministry Director-General and Head of Human Resources were always present in such meetings.
More generally slamming Ayalon's version of events, Liberman said, "Sometimes you don't know if he lives on a different planet."
Ayalon also took umbrage with Liberman's criticism of his former deputy's frequent press appearances.
"As for the childish and highly unprofessional claims about my high-profile media appearances, I would like to remind Liberman that he was the foreign minister of the State of Israel, not the Soviet Union," Liberman's former deputy wrote.
"The media here is not what 'Pravda' was in the Soviet era. As an elected official, and not his personal servant, I had a public obligation to brief the media in Israel and abroad, which is an accepted custom in enlightened democracies."
"It's fascinating given that he understands this to be the case when it comes to his own high profile in the press," Ayalon wrote.
"Liberman is correct when he says that as foreign minister I defended him in every possible forum, even though this was a nearly impossible task," the former deputy foreign minister wrote. "I summoned all of my rhetorical and diplomatic skills to represent the state of Israel with dignity during his tenure as its foreign minister."
"I have an obligation to my good conscience and to the public in Israel to state the truth whenever I stand before the legal authorities and the judges in Jerusalem," he wrote. "There are judges in Jerusalem, and it is incumbent upon them to judge."