'If Liberman can't do it, he should go home'

MKs Smotrich and Forer debate current Hamas policy. 'If Liberman wanted guarantees he shouldn't have sought to be defense minister.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90

MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) and Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Wednesday debated the conduct of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman against the Hamas terrorist organization on Erel Segal's program on Radio 103FM.

Smotrich blasted Liberman and Prime Minister Netanyahu's intentions to reach a cease-fire agreement with Hamas and completely reopen the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza. "This cease-fire is a folly that is difficult to accept after 130 days of terror."

Smotrich presented the position of his party leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, that Israel should carry out a major attack in Gaza without making a ground incursion. When asked how Israel could be certain that such an attack would not provoke a response by Hamas that would necessitate a ground invasion, Smotrich replied: "Anyone who wants an insurance certificate will not be a leader or a politician and will not seek to be defense minister."

According to Smotrich, the quiet that Israel accepts is quiet with a high price. "We want quiet here and now and we are paying for it at a compound interest rate in the long run." As an example, Smotrich spoke of the situation in the north - Hezbollah exploited the cease-fire and the arrangement with Israel to re-arm and solidify its hold on southern Lebanon.

MK Forer, a member of Defense Minister Liberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, explained the avoidance of an operation at the present time: "When you want to engage in an operation, and it is reasonable to assume that in the end we will have to get to it. You want to get to this operation after you have destroyed as many capabilities as possible achievements [of the enemy] and that's exactly what we do."

"There is no agreement and Liberman said that there will be no agreement without the return of the missing bodies. It is very easy to say things when you sit in the Education Ministry," said Forer, hinting at the criticism voiced by Minister Bennett.

Asked why the defense minister who declared that he would assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh within 48 hours and bring down the Hamas government, Forer replied: "The State of Israel has never managed to appoint kings and decide who will rule somewhere. The only ones who can replace Hamas is the public in Gaza, and they have to understand that quiet is good for them and the noise and the confrontations that Hamas produces are bad for them."

Forer added that the defense establishment since Liberman took office has been conducting a policy of enforcing red lines both in the south and in the north.

Smotrich said in response: "I do not understand how we can talk about a policy of red lines after 130 days in which Hamas burned the south, after rockets, after soldiers were killed by snipers Hamas placed on the fence. I do not think Hamas is deterred. he defense minister should not have turned around and told us that Hamas is deterred. We would know if it was."

"What is happening now is that Hamas sets the agenda and that is a bad thing that we must not agree to. We have the strongest army against a group of Arabs across the fence in Gaza, and we are chatting with them and can not make a decision. It is possible and necessary to decide this. It is possible and necessary not to wait until the next round," Smotrich said.