'Leaders don't burst into tears on camera'

Minister Akunis criticizes EU's Mogherini for breaking down in press conference after Brussels attack, contrasting with other women leaders.

Ari Yashar ,

Mogherini with Judeh
Mogherini with Judeh

Science Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) on Thursday chided European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini for her outburst of tears during a press conference on Tuesday, in the wake of the lethal Islamic State (ISIS) bombings in the EU capital of Brussels that left 34 people murdered.

Speaking to the Knesset Channel, Akunis said, "a leader doesn't break down crying in front of the cameras."

"Imagine (Margaret) Thatcher or Golda Meir like this," he continued, referencing the former British Prime Minister who was dubbed the "Iron Lady" and the former Israeli Prime Minister, and noting both were "strong women." Video of Mogherini crying can be seen by clicking the image below.

Akunis said that "a leader steadies himself and tells his people the truth, and she should have done that and told her public in the European Union the truth: 'it may be that more difficult months of a struggle against Islamic terror await us.'"

"Can you picture Thatcher, Meir, or other strong women who led countries standing and bursting into tears before the cameras, or else taking actions as a leader to bring their people a better future? That's what they did," he said.

"The Foreign Minister of the European Union chose to act differently, I don't judge her, but the European continent is facing a period that is not very easy."

Mogherini's fit of weeping took place during a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman.

“It is…a very sad day for Europe as Europe and its capital is suffering the same pain that this region has known and knows every single day," she said while appearing to be trying to contain her emotions, but these eventually got the best of her.

She stepped toward Judeh, who embraced her, and the two left the room at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together.