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Netanyahu Ejects Minister Ariel from Security Cabinet Meeting

An embarrassing incident at Security Cabinet meeting as Minister Bennett brings fellow minister from Jewish Home, angering Netanyahu.
By Hezki Ezra and Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/26/2014, 3:14 AM

PM Netanyahu and Minister Uri Ariel
PM Netanyahu and Minister Uri Ariel
Flash 90

An embarrassing incident took place on Wednesday at the Security Cabinet meeting to discuss the future of the IDF’s Operation Brother’s Keeper.

The incident occurred as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed outrage at Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, for bringing Housing Minister Uri Ariel to the meeting, despite Ariel not being a regular member of the Cabinet.

Bennett claimed, according to Channel 10 News, that he saw fit to invite Ariel to the meeting because Netanyahu himself often invites to Security Cabinet meetings ministers who aren’t regular members, such as Yuval Steinitz and Yaakov Perry. Bennett invited Ariel in order to balance the discussion.

According to the report, Netanyahu did not approve of Bennett’s initiative and ordered that Ariel leave. Bennett responded that if Ariel leaves, he would as well, and the two indeed left.

Moments later, Bennett returned to the meeting alone. Officials from the Jewish Home party expressed outrage at Netanyahu’s behavior, saying, "This is not how a prime minister behaves towards his ministers, and we expect the Prime Minister to apologize to Minister Ariel."

Wednesday’s incident is reminiscent of one from a few months ago, when Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) demanded Steinitz’s ejection from a Security Cabinet discussion.

Netanyahu agreed to eject Steinitz from the discussion after Lapid insisted that he was bound to do so, according to the terms of the agreements they signed when the Coalition was formed.

Steinitz responded by calling Lapid “supercilious and arrogant” in a television interview.