Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor LibermanYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yisrael Beyteinu leader Avigdor Liberman has directed harsh criticism at Prime Minister Netanyuahu's use of 'Oslo' as a slogan, stating that he must be replaced immediately with another figure from the Likud party, and commented on the recent decision to reinstate the tax on soft drinks.

"In terms of the hostages, one thing is quite clear. There is a team led by Nitzan Alon, along with the director of the Mossad. They are conducting the negotiations. I very much rely on Nitzan Alon, one of the most principled men I know. They are working, together with their team of hundreds of ethical and principled individuals, around the clock. To my disappointment, I hear people giving them advice instead of support. All I ask is that they be given support. All the obsessive deliberations in the media and studios do not bring the hostages's return closer, indeed the opposite is true - it only pushes it off and raises Hamas's price."

Liberman commented on the question of whether Netanyahu should resign: "I think that Netanyahu is far less than Chamberlain, and after 73 days of war I believe that he is far less worthy to continue to lead. The only thing that I see him doing is leading a personal political campaign. He talks about the Oslo Accords, when he is the one who applies them the most, since 1993 and to this day. Bibi gave Hebron to Arafat. After that he he agreed to three land transfers to move Area B to Area A."

"Netanyahu voted for the Disengagement and said he would have done so even had the vote been a national referendum. He led the deal to free Yahya Sinwar in 2011, and it is clear to me as someone who knows him that what drives him now, as it did then, is polls, and so he will prevent a Palestinian state."

Regarding who else he thought could lead the Likud, Liberman commented: "I don't want to steal votes or power. The Likud can decide who they want to be Prime Minister, and anyone they choose will be better than Netanyahu. I also don't understand the craziness of the last few days. How is Al Jazeera still broadcasting from within Israel? This station is a megaphone for all the terrorist organizations in the world, and even now is suing Israel in the Hague. Why have we not shut it down? Because we made a promise to Qatar?"

"Another thing - the Kerem Shalom crossing that Bibi reopened for humanitarian aid to run directly into Gaza. The man cannot stand up to any pressure. Someone who exploits a war in such a cynical way for the good of an election campaign must be out of bounds if you ask me. This only shows his priorities and thoughts."

Regarding the recent decision to reintroduce the tax on soft drinks, he commented: "The tax on soft drinks and disposable dishes and all the other things seem to have suddenly become 'kosher'. They said that Liberman was an antisemite, and now we see that this was the right step to take. Ignore who is the Finance Minister - ask the WHO and ask about the fight against diabetes. Israel is among the lowest ranked in the world in such a fight, and these illnesses are most prevalent among the most disadvantaged populations. This is not a political matter. The fact that we have turned it into a personal matter against me only shows that, in the end, I was right."

Regarding how he believedthe budget should be built, he commented: " I don't know. The 2023 budget is one big failure. I don't want to get into macroeconomics, but when you have basic interest rising and a deficit of six percent, any irresponsible expense will cause inflation to spike. We first of all need to figure out how we can cut expenses, and make every expense a cause of growth in its own right. I am trying to focus on facts. Look at the sales of real estate, the construction of new housing, investments - these indexes have been dropping sharply and must be dealt with, otherwise we will never financially recover from this."

לסיום, במענה לשאלה ׳כיצד היית את בונה את התקציב ואיפה מורה על קיצוץ׳, השיב ח"כ ליברמן: "אני לא יודע. תקציב 2023 הוא פשוט מחדל אחד גדול. לא רוצה להיכנס לענייני מקרו כלכלה, אבל כשיש ריבית בסיסית גבוהה וגירעון מעל 6 אחוזים, כל הוצאה כספית לא אחראית פשוט תגרום לאינפלציה לזנק. צריך קודם כל לחשוב איך מקצצים בהוצאות, וכל הוצאה צריך תהיה מנוע צמיחה בפני עצמו. אני משתדל לדבר בעובדות. תסתכל על מכירת קרקעות, בניית דירות חדשות, השקעות, אלו נתונים שבירידה חדה ואיתם צריכים להתמודד, אחרת לא נצליח להתרומם מהמצב".