German submarine (illustration)
German submarine (illustration) Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the recent controversy over Israel’s decision to purchase 3 additional German submarines. The controversy erupted over the Prime Minister’s spearheading of the deal and the business relationship of his long-time personal attorney, David Shimron, with the German shipbuilding company.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon vigorously opposed the $1.5 billion deal, and there have been charges that Netanyahu fast-tracked the deal over the heads of the Defense establishment. Unusually, the initiative for the deal came from the Prime Minister, not the IDF, and the degree to which IDF approves of the purchase is still not clear.

Netanyahu this morning said that the only consideration that guided the topic was strengthening Israeli’s military power. “Israel’s security requires purchasing these submarines. These strategic systems ensure Israel’s future and its very existence for decades to come.”

Minister Ze’ev Elkin also defended the deal before the weekly Cabinet meeting. “As a member of the political-security cabinet and a past head of the Knesset Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, the discussion of the submarine purchase was purely professional. The attempts to ascribe external considerations to the purchase are nonsense.”