PM piles praise on outgoing cabinet at likely last meeting

Two of embittered Shas’s four ministers skip session.

Netanyahu looking morose at cabinet meeting 370 (photo credit: GPO)
Netanyahu looking morose at cabinet meeting 370
(photo credit: GPO)
Deep in the midst of trying to set up a new government, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with the outgoing cabinet on Sunday, heaped praise on its work, and said he hoped the new ministers would follow its example.
Two of Shas’s four ministers stayed away from the meeting, apparently as a protest that their party will be kept out of the next government.
Netanyahu heaped praise on the ministers present, saying the government will – with time – be remembered as one that achieved more of its aims than almost any other in the history of the state.
The outgoing government “brought Israel to a position where it is more secure and prosperous, and has made more progress in all the areas in which we have been active,” the prime minister said.
What made the feat more impressive, Netanyahu continued, was that it was done at a time when “the world around us was changing for the worse; the regional situation is changing for the worse, and the global economy is wobbly and unstable.”
The challenges the country still faced, in addition to “tremendous” security challenges, were bringing down the cost of living and housing, and equalizing the the military and tax burden, Netanyahu said.
He added that there was no word other than “tremendous” to characterize the country’s security challenges, which were “piling up around us, and we will of course need to deal with that in the next government.”
Netanyahu took the opportunity of what he said was likely the last meting of the government to praise Minister- without-Portfolio Bennie Begin. Netanyahu ridiculed the notion that ministers without portfolios did not do anything, saying Begin was the best “minister without portfolio” the country has ever had. He said he wished that some of the ministers in the country’s history who had held portfolios would have done as much as Begin, and would have acted with as much “wisdom and morality.”