Tzipi Hotovely
Tzipi HotovelyYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

shiDeputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) attacked Education Minister Naftali Bennett who accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of abandoning the religious Zionist movement.

"Minister Bennett is trying to gain political capital at the Likud's expense," said Hotovely following Bennett's words on the subject at a government meeting.

"Everyone appreciates the educational enterprise of the Eli pre-army yeshiva. The Prime Minister honors the pre-military yeshiva academy in Eli, and in the last election campaign he came to visit the school. Too bad that such an important subject as the nature of military service has become a populist and political debate," noted Hotovely.

Bennett turned to the Prime Minister during this morning's government meeting and demanded his intervention to protect the mechina (pre-IDF preparatory) yeshiva in Eli, and to prevent its closure.

Minister Bennett told the Prime Minister that he abandoned religious Zionism at the moment of truth and forgot to take care of one of its flagship institutions whose contribution is unique in the State of Israel.

Bennett made sure to stress that Rabbi Yigal Levenstein's words were very serious and that he rejected them outright, but on the other hand said there is no room for silence or restraint regarding the closure of the institution and that the Prime Minister must immediately intervene and stop it as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister responded to Bennett that he was not interested in opening a debate on the issue, as Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman was not present at the meeting. He added that he has been working to maintain calm.