'I don't get Ya'alon, Liberman will be great'

Minister Erdan tells NY conference that Defense Minister's choice to quit makes no sense, Liberman will bring 'fresh thinking.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gilad Erdan at the conference
Gilad Erdan at the conference
Public Relations

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) spoke on Sunday at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, where he noted how Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) resigned in response to being replaced by Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman.

Ya'alon quit last Friday, after Liberman was offered his post as a condition for joining the coalition government.

"I must say that I am sorry that 'Boogie' Ya'alon is leaving the Government and the Knesset. Boogie served the State of Israel for many years, and contributed much to its security," said Erdan.

"But I also must say, that I don't understand his decision to leave. He was elected to serve the people, and he could have continued to serve them in a different role in the government," he said, indicating how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had offered him the Foreign Ministry.

"I would also like to say, that as someone who has known Avigdor Liberman personally for more than 20 years, I am confident that he will make an excellent Minister of Defense. I believe that it is good that every once in a while, we have a Defense Minister who does not come from the military establishment. Someone from the outside can bring fresh thinking and a fresh perspective to the IDF."

Erdan went on to note for "those on the left who want to pin on Liberman's appointment the chances of advancing the peace process" that the "primary obstacle" remains Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's "decision to boycott the Israeli government and refuse negotiations."

The minister then spoke about the BDS boycott movement, noting that "while he dare not admit it, the BDS leader has more in common with the terrorist, than with genuine human rights activists."

"Though their tools are different, BDS and terrorism are united in their goals. They are united in their language of hate. And they are united in their victims. They not only complement each other. They fuel each other. Their shared goal is simple and explicit: The destruction of the State of Israel."

He then quoted BDS leaders who made clear that their goal is the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Continuing on to the British Labour party's recent spate of anti-Semitism, he warned, "when you continuously delegitimize a group, you legitimatize violence against them. Words can kill."

Erdan called for Facebook and social media websites to do more to help stop terror, noting how the posts of recent terrorist murderers made their intentions clear.

"I call on Mark Zuckerburg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and their colleagues to take the initiative to monitor and remove this incitement on their own. If they refuse and continue to ignore their role in promoting incitement, governments must pass legislation forcing them to do so," he said. "Today they are part of the problem. They must become part of the solution."

Continuing to elaborate on PA incitement, he said, "for many years we have seen that this incitement is also widespread in Palestinian schools, universities and official media channels. This incitement glorifies terror and encourages violence, even teaching children as young as kindergarten to stab Jews."

"We are making progress in combating this wave of violence and incitement. We have developed systems to identify potential lone-wolf terrorists from their social media posts, we increased the number of police officers in Jerusalem to enhance both prevention and deterrence, and we outlawed Islamist groups who are inciting violence, such as the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement."