Likud, Yisrael Beytenu trade barbs

Likud and Yisrael Beytenu parties trade barbs after Netanyahu appoints new adviser on Russian immigrant affairs.

Hezki Baruch ,

Netanyahu and Bolstein
Netanyahu and Bolstein
Likud spokesperson

The Likud and Yisrael Beytenu parties traded barbs on Wednesday evening following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's announcement that he appointed attorney Ariel Bolstein as his adviser on Russian immigrant affairs.

In announcing the appointment, Netanyahu said, "The immigration from these countries has contributed greatly to Israel's success in recent decades, but there are many issues that require special attention. Together we will be able to promote pension solutions, public housing and other important issues.”

Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman criticized the appointment, writing on Twitter, "Yesterday the Prime Minister appointed an adviser on animals, and today after the publication of polls in which Yisrael Beytenu wins 10 seats, he appointed an adviser on immigrants from the former Soviet Union."

"This indicates that the Prime Minister is under hysterical pressure and tomorrow we will probably hear more news – the appointment of a special adviser on bears in the North Pole," Liberman wrote.

The Likud fired back at Liberman and said in response that "Evet’s hallucinatory comparison between immigrants from the Soviet Union and animals indicates mainly panic and contempt for the public."

"We are confident that attorney Ariel Bolstein, who immigrated to Israel in 1990 and holds a bachelor's degree in law from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from Bar Ilan, a member of the Israel Bar Association and a member of the board of directors of the Jabotinsky Institute, can contribute greatly to advancing the status of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and solving the challenges of this important community in Israeli society."

"It's a shame that Evet cares only about Evet - not about the pension that Prime Minister Netanyahu will bring - and certainly not about the immigrants," said the Likud.

The move to appoint Bolstein has been perceived as the first step in a campaign the Likud intends to hold in order to ensure the votes of the Russian sector, to which Yisrael Beytenu and Liberman appeal.