Mitzna: Inexperienced cabinet can't handle Syria

Pressing the trigger should be the last option, says Hatbua MK, hinting that Lapid, Bennett lack experience on security issues.

Amram Mitzna 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Amram Mitzna 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The diplomatic-security cabinet is inexperienced and will have difficulty dealing with security issues arising from the situation in Syria, Knesset Education Committee chairman Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) said Sunday.
It was a thinly veiled reference to Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett.
Mitzna, a major-general in the reserves, said he was “disturbed and concerned, not only because we are moving in the direction of a war that we don’t want, but also because many of the decision-makers are rookies who have never been so high-ranking.”
By law, the diplomatic-security cabinet must include the prime minister, defense minister, finance minister, public security minister and justice minister, and the prime minister may add more members as long as it consists of fewer than half of the ministers.
The current cabinet includes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, a former IDF chief of staff, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – all of whom have been in past cabinets – as well as Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan, who are new to the cabinet.
Mitzna told Army Radio he is concerned that “more than a few people’s fingers are itching to use the IDF’s great power and use this opportunity to take out the rockets in Syria before they fall into the hands of Hezbollah or the rebels.”
“That feeling in their fingertips, the desire to put an end to this once and for all – anyone who has it has to be careful, because the goal of Israel has always been to avoid preventable wars,” he explained.
“Any war in the region will not bring any benefit to Israel, but great harm. Pressing the trigger should be the last option we use.”
Mitzna, a former Labor leader, was promised a ministerial position when he joined Hatnua, but when the current government was formed, party leader Livni gave former defense minister Amir Peretz a ministry instead.
“There is a huge value to experience,” Mitzna said, “even though recently people disrespect it.”
The Hatnua MK expressed hope that Netanyahu is aware that he is not surrounded by experienced people who know how to understand intelligence reports and avoid pressure from security officials.