Will Netanyahu give Bennett defense portfolio?

In a reversal, PM Netanyahu may grant Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s request to head the defense department, according to reports.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be prepared to give Education Minister Naftali Bennett the defense portfolio, reversing his earlier refusal, according to reports.

The prime minister’s office revealed Sunday morning that Netanyahu is prepared to give the Jewish Home Party chairman the minister of defense post, Channel 13 reports.

Bennett’s party demanded that he be given the defense portfolio on Wednesday, voting unanimously in a special meeting.

Bennett had repeatedly attacked outgoing Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s policy of restraint over the last  months as rockets, fire kites and balloon bombs rained down on Israel’s south since the start of the so-called “March of Return,” the Hamas-organized riots on the Gaza-Israel border.

Liberman himself criticized Israel’s policy when he announced his resignation last Tuesday following Israel’s decision to agree to a ceasefire with the terrorist organization. It did so after enduring a barrage of roughly 500 rockets from the Gaza Strip.

Avoiding elections

The prime minister is eager to avoid early elections and hopes to finish out the government’s term, which officially ends November, 2019.

Before the weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the State of Israel finds itself in a critical period, noting that he had just spoken with the Trump administration about a new policy in the U.N.

“Only on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman updated me that Washington voted against the traditional decision against Israeli sovereignty in the Golan,” he said.

During the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu repeated his warning that history could repeat itself as it had in 1992 and 1999, when right-wing governments fell due to self-inflicted wounds, leading to major security disasters for the State of Israel; in the case of the former, the Oslo Accords and in the latter, the Second Intifada.