Tzachi Hanegbi at the conference
Tzachi Hanegbi at the conferenceRonen Topelberg

National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi set off an uproar on Tuesday when he said that it is impossible to eliminate Hamas since it is an idea.

A heated discussion was held on the matter in the cabinet's WhatsApp messenger group. Ministers Moshe Arbel (Shas), Orit Strock (Religious Zionists), and Yitzhak Wasserlauf (Otzma Yehudit) demanded clarification from Prime Minister Netanyahu and asked that he discipline Hanegbi.

Minister Arbel wrote: "I ask that the National Security Adviser explain himself. Hamas must disappear as an idea. Just like ISIS and just like Nazism, and slavery, fascism, and other ideas. The National Security Adviser has no mandate to say such things."

Minister Wasserlauf added: "It turns out that the Kadima party and the Gaza Disengagement are ideas, you can't make them disappear even when you return to the Likud," referring to Hanegbi's membership in late Prime Minister Sharon's splinter party.

Minister Strock agreed with their sentiments. Minister Amichai Eliyahu (Otzma Yehudit) wrote: "You can certainly defeat an idea, with the help of a better idea. You can not defeat one who speaks of an 'al-Aqsa Flood' or 'From the river to the sea.' I actually agree with the end of Hanegbi's statements regarding the need for an idea, and demand he advance ideas that are better and more ethical than Hamas'. And not crazy ideas such as discussions of a Palestinian state. Renewed Jewish settlement in Gaza is a good idea, full of life. Implementing sovereignty in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley is a good and moral idea and a correction of history. And there are other ideas that I can suggest."