Netanyahu to Lieberman : 'The Likud is not a dictatorship'

PM defends Likud ministers attacked by FM over committee to probe left-wing NGOs, supports action against organizations acting illegally.

Netanyahu speaks at Knesset 298 (photo credit: AP)
Netanyahu speaks at Knesset 298
(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday rejected Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's criticism of Likud ministers who spoke out against the establishment of a parliamentary committee to probe funding of left-wing NGOs.
"It is important in a democratic state to allow various opinions. The Likud is united in the need to act against organizations which operate illegally against Israel and the IDF; however, there are a number of opinions on what the right way to enact this policy is," Netanyahu told Lieberman.
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"The Likud is a democratic and pluralistic party and not a dictatorship of one opinion. All of the Likud ministers are concerned for the security of the country and its citizens and they don't need anyone's approval," Netanyahu added.
The prime minister's comments came a day after Lieberman attacked right-wing politicians, including Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor, Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin, and Government Services Minister Michael Eitan, who all spoke out against the establishment of the parliamentary committee of inquiry that passed its first vote in the Knesset plenum by 41 to 16 last week.
The foreign minister lashed out at MKs on the Right, claiming that these politicians were responsible for the failure of the national camp to achieve its aims. "There are leaders on the Right that have turned into the apologists for the Left. They do everything to serve the Left, and they are traitors to the national cam," Lieberman said.
“There is hypocrisy in Israeli society not just on the Left, but also the Right. When I saw right-wing MKs voting together with Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and Ahmed Tibi (UAL) against the committee, it was strange,” he said.
Eitan has refused to respond to Lieberman’s attack. Rivlin, however, angrily responded that he was not a hypocrite, but a stubborn donkey “who does not change his opinion to the Right or to the Left.”
Meridor also continued, undeterred, to criticize the establishment of the committee of inquiry, which was originally proposed by MK Faina Kirschenbaum (Israel Beiteinu).
Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report