'Mattis and I resigned for the exact same reason'

Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman reacts to news of resignation of US counterpart, says he has 'complete disconnect' with Netanyahu.

Tzvi Lev ,

Liberman briefs reporters at exercise in north
Liberman briefs reporters at exercise in north
Flash 90

Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that he and outgoing US Secretary of Defense James Mattis had resigned after realizing that the political echelon was exhibiting weakness vis a vis terror.

Citing deep disagreements with President Trump, Mattis had announced his resignation on Thursday. Liberman had left his post last month amid arguments with Prime Minister Netanyahu over to respond to a missile barrage by Hamas.

"The president's decision must be respected," Liberman said during an interview with 103FM. "According to the American Constitution, the president is also the supreme commander and he is responsible for these moves."

"We both resigned for exactly the same reason," added Liberman. "When you see the situation in Israel, especially in Judea and Samaria, it is a surrender to terror."

Liberman also said that President Trump's abrupt decision this past week to withdraw the remaining US military personnel in Syria increased the chances of war in the region.

"The problem with the American decision is that now they will create a Shiite land corridor that will cause arms smuggling from Iran to Syria, and we will have to act," said Liberman. "The withdrawal of the American forces will bring about a completely new reality, and the reaction of Syria and Hezbollah in the decision is likely to be different. "

"We should not prepare for a preemptive strike," Liberman added, saying that the IDF should work "only to prepare for provocations by Hezbollah."

Mattis had announced his resignation on Thursday following his disagreement with Trump over the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The decorated general had vehemently opposed the decision and reportedly rushed to the White House in a failed last-ditch effort to convince Trump to change his mind.

“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues,” Mattis wrote in his resignation letter.

“Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” concluded the defense secretary.

Liberman had announced last month that he will resign his position and pull his Yisrael Beytenu faction out of the government. In a dramatic press conference, Liberman said that the recent ceasefire Israel signed with Hamas was "a capitulation to terrorism" and called for early elections "as soon as possible".




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