Liberman says he didn't mean to call IDF leadership leftists

Former defense minister says his remarks comparing IDF General Staff to Peace Now were distorted, says Israel weak vis a vis Hamas.

Tzvi Lev ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says his remarks comparing the IDF General Staff to the leftist Peace Now group were "distorted" and accused the government of weakness vis a vis Hamas.

Appearing on the 'Meet The Press' program, Liberman said that Israel's "engineering project" up north did not mean that it could neglect the southern front with Hamas.

"What happens in the north is an engineering operation and not an operation," said Liberman. "They are constantly trying to put them against each other - there is no connection between them. "

Liberman had resigned after the IDF and Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to respond after Hamas bombarded Israel with more than 500 missiles. Senior government sources said this past week that the IDF did not want to entangle itself in an operation in the Gaza Strip when it knew that it would soon begin destroying Hezbollah's tunnels in northern Israel.

Liberman also said reports that he compared the IDF General Staff to the Peace Now group were "distorted".

"It is okay to disagree. That does not mean that it is permissible to attack and slander," said Liberman.

Reports said on Thursday that Liberman lost his temper during a meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and IDF generals. Eizenkot said that "there is no justification for a ground operation, there is nothing to gain from it," despite the ongoing barrage of about 500 rockets and mortars from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

"I feel here sometimes as in discussions with Peace Now management," Liberman told the participants.