Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman addressed Thursday afternoon the criticism he has been receiving from members of the Jewish Home party over his call for Rabbi Yigal Levenstein to resign as the head of the military preparatory (mechina) yeshiva Bnei David in the town of Eli.

"As someone who knows the importance of the military prep schools and the Hesder yeshiva arrangement, I have no doubt that they will continue to function and prepare the next generation of soldiers for the IDF. The last thing I want is to cause them harm," Liberman wrote in a Facebook post.

The Defense Minister stressed, however, that "those who truly wish [to see] further success for the yeshiva and the prep school must understand that this is not compatible with the continued service of Rabbi Levenstein."

"What we are doing now is sacrificing the yeshiva and the prep school on the alter of the Jewish Home primaries, all because of a man who has apologized twice for insulting entire sectors [of society], and has now struck again and insulted the soldiers of the IDF and Israeli women," Liberman added.

"I was sorry to see that instead of joining me in this demand, Naftali Bennett chose to stand by Rabbi Levenstein because of narrow political considerations. It is time to unite and to save the united people of Israel."

Liberman does not have the authority to fire staff members of preparatory yeshivas. In response to his demand, the mechina's head reminded him of all the anti-Zionist remarks by teaching staffs in various Israeli schools and universities, all of which went unpunished.

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