In scathing statement, Bennett slams Netanyahu for ‘weakness’ on security issues

“When the enemy recognizes weakness, it attacks,” wrote the former defense minister.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After refraining from speaking publicly on political matters during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Yemina chair Naftali Bennett took to Facebook to slam Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

“I do not remember such a period of weakness, dysfunction and national embarrassment,” wrote the former defense minister. “It’s not a coincidence that the enemy is raising its head now…when the enemy recognizes weakness, it attacks.”

He said the state’s deterrence against terrorists was at the “lowest point” in Israel’s history, citing “terrorists shooting at residents of Lod, Acre, Beer Sheva and Galilee” and “humiliated police officers on the Temple Mount, Hamas victory celebrations in Gaza and in Israeli cities.”

Bennett wrote that on Netanyahu’s watch, the personal security of Israelis had “deteriorated to an unbearable degree,” thanks to the premier’s “appointing of mediocre people, who in turn appoint mediocre people.”

He suggested that Netanyahu’s government picks led to “crooked decision-making policies” and said he’d created a “smokescreen of personality worship” and “severely attacked anyone daring to criticize him.”

Chiding government ministers “who are busy day and night in politics, and run away in difficult moments,” Bennett said that the highest priority should be to form a functioning government, citing the fact that Israel still does not have a state budget.

“Whoever drags the country to the fifth elections, for more poison and hatred, for another year of state dysfunction, for a huge waste of money – plays into the hands of those who want the worst for us,” he wrote.

“There are a number of options to form a government, if only we remove the boycotts and understand the importance of the hour,” he wrote.

The statement could be interpreted as a call for the right-wing parties boycotting Netanyahu, including the New Hope party and Yisrael Beiteinu, to join a Likud coalition.

He did not mention whether the possibility of a so-called “change” government was entirely off the table.

Bennett and Lapid were reportedly set to announce they’d formed a coalition with President Reuven Rivlin, but the outbreak of clashes with Gaza and widespread riots in Israel poured cold water on the arrangement.