Daily Israel Report

Naftali Bennett Lauds Defense Minister for Speaking Out

Jewish Home Chairman defends Ya'alon for criticizing the US, noting 'his mouth and heart are the same' and in Israel's best interests.
By Uzi Baruch and Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/22/2014, 7:59 PM

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon
Flash 90

Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett strongly condemned the ongoing media and political tirade against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who is under fire for criticizing the US's policy toward Israel. 

"The media attack on the defense minister and top IDF official is unnecessary and mostly false, and so far there is no one who says: enough," Bennett wrote on a Facebook post on Saturday night.

"[Ya'alon] is an excellent defense minister, [and] his mouth and heart are the same - even if the positions [he has] are not the same positions these commentators and others [hold]. (Which is good)," he added. 

Over the past year, quiet - and interesting developments - have returned to the Defense system," Bennett continued. "The State of Israel has regained its deterrence. Nowadays, everyone knows we will not hesitate to work at length to cut off the hands of our enemies."

"Israel's intelligence framework has undergone a true revolution," Bennett continued. "We have new and bold capabilities. Within the turbulent sea that is the Middle East, Israel stands as a beacon of stability. Sometimes you can - and you should - say a few good words [about it]." 

The United States harshly criticized Ya’alon this week, over his remarks that the United States “shows weakness” in various arenas around the world, including Ukraine, and has a “soft” approach over Iran’s nuclear program.

In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry personally protested to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over Ya'alon's strong criticism which the U.S. saw as trying to hurt U.S.-Israel relations.

Later, Ya’alon phoned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and clarified that his remarks were not meant to insult the United States.

However, the apology was not enough for US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who indicated that the US is still waiting for a more substantial apology.