Liberman at Kfar Bilu
Liberman at Kfar BiluCourtesy

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman commented on the continuation of the fighting in Gaza and on the political situation in Israel at an event in Moshav Kfar Bilu on the weekend.

"At the beginning of the war we said there was no more coalition and opposition and we voted in favor of forming an emergency cabinet. I asked to enter the War Cabinet without a coalition agreement, without demanding budgets or standards, and to be at the center of decision-making. To join the government as Minister #38, even though it would be a great honor to replace Galit Distel, but I have no need to be a minister without a portfolio. I've been waiting ever since."

Liberman criticized Benny Gantz, saying, "Yesterday we heard that Minister Gideon Sa'ar wanted to join the War Cabinet and Gantz vetoed that. Is this unity? I think the only thing over which there is a consensus in the War Cabinet is not to put Liberman in the Cabinet because I come with a different view, with a different concept and with knowledge and reasons - that's why they didn't want me there."

Liberman also commented on the day after the war in Gaza. "There is only one solution for the day after, the Egyptians must be brought in there. To this day, the Egyptians have made the Gaza Strip a headache for us. The Egyptians played a double game and did not prevent any smuggling. All the weapons to Hamas came through the Philadelphi route."

On the handling of the war, he stated, "At the start of the war we should have entered from the south and the north and also Rafah at the same time, but everything is upside down in this Cabinet. Nothing will be solved in this government."

Commenting on the fighting in the north against the Hezbollah terrorist organization, Liberman said that Israel must strive to implement UN Resolution 1701. "If I were Prime Minister, I would take over the entire part beyond the Litani River to the Israeli border, that is the first thing. The entire doctrine of fighting of the IDF is to transfer the fighting to the side of the enemy. At the moment we have turned 80 thousand residents of the north into refugees in their own country and are running two war zones and all in our territory. There is no discretion."

Liberman also noted the warnings he gave before the war. "We reached October 7th because of the sin of arrogance, excessive self-confidence and the inability to listen to different voices. Everyone was captive to the concept. I personally in 2016 delivered a document to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Eisenkot and gave an exact scenario, that thousands of terrorists from the Nukhba force will invade from Gaza and occupy Israeli towns and kidnap Israelis into the Gaza Strip."

"I warned that such a scenario would be a severe blow to Israel and would cause a shock in Israeli society. The answer was, 'You're just scaring people.' I demanded a discussion in the Cabinet and even there they decided to ignore it. Even a week before the war, I tried to warn that this is what was going to happen and said that the situation is worse than before the Yom Kippur War, and we must wake up. Also in an interview on Arutz Sheva’s website on the 6th of October, in which I warn during my tour of the south with the head of the council and I ask where are the soldiers? We still haven't freed ourselves from the old concept. Just this week we learned that Netanyahu is giving permission to transfer orphans from Gaza to Judea and Samaria. What about our orphans? Can our political and military leadership win? The answers are clear to everyone. This is a government that is incapable and abandons its residents."

He also commented on the Draft Law and said, "I expect the Knesset members of the Religious Zionist Party to take a clear position on the issue. Everyone sees the heavy price they are paying for this in the polls."