Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu fired at each other in a stormy meeting of the Knesset plenum on Monday, called at the request of 40 opposition MKs.
Netanyahu compared Bennett to a child pretending to fly a plane, accusing him of pretending to run the country.
“He has the title but he is not a real prime minister,” Netanyahu said. “It’s not only pathetic, it’s dangerous. He has no achievements and no ideology. He is not a leader. Everything is fake.”
Concluding the pilot analogy, Netanyahu said “there is hope, because the Likud plane is on the runway, ready to return to power.”
Netanyahu accused the government of wasting money on trips abroad by its cabinet ministers. He joked that so many ministers are abroad, there is a shortage of security guards in Israel and that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is “on an official visit to Israel.”
But Bennett said it was necessary to heal Israel’s public diplomacy, which he said was harmed while Netanyahu was prime minister, including during this summer’s IDF operation against Hamas. He said he was proud that his government had appointed 40 new diplomats and the Foreign Ministry had the largest cadet course ever.
“Hamas defeated us in the war for public opinion,” Bennett said. “Terrorists attacked us, firing at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and we were blamed, because our story was left untold.”
After opposition MKs attacked his handling of the budget, Bennett said he was glad a budget was being passed for the first time in three-and-a-half years and called his budget the most socioeconomically minded budget in years.