PM counters former confidant Arad's criticism

Netanyahu says Uzi Arad shouldn't be judged "in his time of distress" after former adviser slams him in interview.

Uzi Arad 390 (photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
Uzi Arad 390
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his longtime but now erstwhile ally and confidant Uzi Arad went head to head over the weekend, with Arad giving a searing interview about Netanyahu to Yediot Aharonot, and Netanyahu responding to Arad with a one line put-down during a press conference in Canada.
“You don’t judge a man during his time of distress,” Netanyahu said, when asked to comment on Arad’s interview.
Arad, who served as the head of the National Security Council until Netanyahu fired him in May 2011 for leaking sensitive security information to a journalist, something Arad denies, charged that Netanyahu believes it is acceptable to lie to the state comptroller because he feels the comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, “wants to destroy him.”
Sources close to the prime minister, in an explanation of Netanyahu’s comment, said that Arad – who was in contact with Netanyahu on a regular basis even after he was dismissed from his position – was interested in serving as an envoy for Netanyahu, but that the plan did not materialize.
The implication was that Arad chose to air dirty laundry from the Prime Minister’s Office publicly because of frustration at not getting a job he wanted.
“The true test of Israel’s government is first of all security, the economy and the diplomatic field,” Netanyahu said about Arad’s criticism at the press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Netanyahu said Israel is strong and its deterrence is working, its economy is prosperous, and it has succeeded diplomatically in convincing the world’s leaders that a nuclear Iran is a danger to the entire world.
“Those are the true tests by which the government I head should be judged,” he said.
Arad’s interview detailing in uncomplimentary terms the workings inside the Prime Minister’s Office comes as the office is still reeling from the forced resignation of chief of staff Natan Eshel for unbecoming behavior toward a female subordinate.