Yisrael Beytenu chairman and former finance minister MK Avigdor Liberman called on Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to take a firm position regarding the judicial reform in an interview with Walla News on Thursday.
This came amid reports that Gallant warned the security system would be harmed by the continued advancement of the reform, even if he resigned from his position.
"The Defense Minister must speak much more clearly," Lieberman said in the interview. "We are hearing hints and leaks. He needs to come forward and respond with clear statements. There is no doubt that he should resign if he is not listened to. He is responsible for the operational competence of the IDF. The whole process we are going through harms operational competence."
The most important issue
According to Liberman, the most important issue in the protest against judicial reform is the separation of religion and state. "This is just the first wave of the protests," he says.
"The second wave will come on the basis of religion and state, if the override clause and the law of evasion - which the ultra-Orthodox call the basic law of learning Torah - are passed. The third wave will come with the economic crisis in the middle of June and it will be the peak. An economic protest will hurt a protest of religious coercion."
The chairman of Yisrael Beytenu referred to the demonstration in Bnei Brak on Thursday and announced that he did not intend to go there. "I don't want anyone to accuse me of creating provocation and stoking the fire," he declared and attacked Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) representatives.
"They promised before the elections that they would lower electricity prices, freeze mortgage payments. The prices go up and up."Avigdor Liberman, Yisrael Beytenu
"We need to separate the ultra-orthodox public from the party businessmen. They are not interested in Judaism. All they care about is power, money and glory."
So what did the residents of Bnei Brak do, that one should demonstrate in front of them and not in front of the Haredi leadership?
"The protest goes right to the homes of those businessmen, those UTJ MKs. In my understanding, it is also in front of the houses of Shas leadership, including in front of Aryeh Deri's house. This is the correct address. In the end, you have to understand: What the Shas and UTJ businessmen are doing is perverting Judaism and falsifying Judaism. There is no connection between our sources and preaching. Where does it say you must not be a fighter? Yehoshua ben Nun for example. They were all fighters."
In fact, the president's outline found a solution precisely to the issue of the Haredim and their recruitment
"Also on the issue of work, the great men of Israel all worked. It's enough just to mention Rashi and Rambam who worked full-time. This whole requirement that yeshiva students should not serve and should not work is a falsification of Judaism. Regarding the president's outline, I said that it could be used as a basis for negotiations. I didn't accept it in the way it was presented."
Liberman also clarified that this is no fight against Netanyahu. "There is an attempt here to take over the country - from the judge selection committee to the media. [Justice Minister] Yariv Levin is just the megaphone of the entire revolution. The real engine consists of Shas and UTJ businessmen," says Liberman.
"Religion and state must be separated. This is the most urgent and necessary thing."Avigdor Liberman
He also noted that "religion and state must be separated. This is the most urgent and necessary thing. Today there are 170,000 yeshiva students. We can't afford it financially. We talk about equal burden even in the context of military or civil service, but they have to go to work."
In your eyes, are religion and state more important than governmental corruption?
"Everything is important and related to each other. First of all, we need to settle the matter of religion and state. The state will not be able to survive economically and socially. The tension between those who serve and those who evade service is at a peak. Gafni said he wants to divide the people into two - those who go to Yeshiva and those who go to the army. Goldknopf wants to equalize the conditions of the soldiers to those who study [in Yeshiva]."
Is this a turning point regarding the issue of an equal burden?
"Without this, it will not end. Talk to IDF soldiers, reservists, generals at the General Staff. First of all, this story harms Israel's security."
In a month, the days of remembrance for the Holocaust, the fallen of the IDF and the victims of hostilities will be celebrated, and Independence Day immediately after them.
Earlier this week, MK Chili Tropper convinced Knesset members to sign a call to refrain from protests on Memorial Day. Liberman also called for keeping the national holidays out of the political debate.
"Absolutely, they must not be brought into debate. Protest is an acceptable and desirable thing in a democratic society, but not in cemeteries and not on Independence Day or the Holocaust. These are days that express the unity of the people. This is not the right place for all the political controversy," clarified the former Finance and Defense Minister.
Liberman also commented on the economic crisis: "Unlike politics, you can check the numbers in the economy. What you see is, the exchange rate of the shekel against the dollar and the euro, you see theincrease. The cost of living increases and products such as chicken jump by more than 20 percent.
"They promised before the elections that they would lower electricity prices, freeze mortgage payments. The prices go up and up. I suggest that everyone check what is happening with their pension fund, the training fund. The numbers speak for themselves."