Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alonHerzliya Conference

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon took advantage of his speech at the Herzliya Conference Thursday afternoon to criticize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and announce that he intends to replace him.

“The leadership should stop scaring the citizens and give the feeling that we are on the verge of a second Holocaust,” he said. “There is no existential danger to Israel, including the Iranian threat.”

He declared: “I intend to run for the Israeli leadership in the coming elections. In the last few months, the gaps in outlooks between me and the prime minister have become apparent to me.”

Ya'alon, who resigned less than a  month ago, claimed that “thousands of Israeli citizens, and certainly Likud members” have contacted him since his recent resignation and convinced him that “the state of Israel requires a change of direction and new hope.”

“There is hope, today, in the sane majority, for responsible national leadership. The state of Israel and the citizens of Israel deserve responsible national leadership,” he added.

“It is unbearable that the leadership of Israel in 2016 busies itself with the inflammation of passions, scare tactics and incitement, between Jews and Arabs, right and left, in order to last in power for another month or year,” Ya’alon accused. “Responsible leadership has the job of connecting between parts of society.”

Likud responded to Ya’alon’s speech by saying: “It is entertaining to see how quickly Ya’alon has done an about face. It was just a few months ago that he said: ‘Iran is an existential threat to Israel,’ and today at the Herzliya Conference, upon turning into a politician, he said that there is no existential threat to Israel. Apparently, what one sees from there, one does not see from here.”