The former prime minister, responsible for establishing warm ties with Russia and other diplomatic successes, slammed the government’s handling of the current crises.
By World Israel News Staff
Opposition leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly criticized the government’s handling of the Ukraine crisis and the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Speaking at a Knesset debate Monday evening, he conceded that “these are sensitive days in the global arena.”
He then went on to criticize “unnecessary statements,” apparently referring to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s announcement earlier in the day that Israel will condemn Russia at the United Nations.
It is in Israel’s interests not to antagonize Russia, which has been turning a blind eye to IDF strikes at Iranian-backed targets in Syria — where Moscow has troops, a naval base and anti-aircraft defenses.
The former prime minister, who succeeded in establishing warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, didn’t mention Russia or Ukraine by name.
“There will be much more to say on the subject, but now is not the time,” Netanyahu said.
“The absurdity is that the government chooses to speak precisely about this issue. But about another issue, which absolutely must be discussed, it is silent.”
Concerning the current negotiations in Vienna “that would allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons against us, an agreement that will be made very soon, Bennett and Lapid say nothing and do nothing,” Netanyahu declared.
“They are bowing their heads to the United States. A few months ago, Bennett said, ‘We are not no-no bears. We will not oppose any agreement. We’re not looking for a quarrel.
“A month and a half ago, Foreign Minister Lapid said: ‘We have succeeded to some extent in making the world listen to us.'”
“Another such ‘success’ and we will be lost,” the opposition leader continued. This ‘success’ has led the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran. It is absurd that the Israeli government is completely silent on this matter.”
“This is the expertise of this government at the international level,” he quipped.
“Lapid said just two weeks ago, ‘there will be no invasion of Ukraine.’ Finance Minister Liberman said, ‘Aliens will invade Ukraine before Russian troops invade it.’
Bennett and Lapid’s silence in the face of the existential danger of a nuclear Iran is no less amazing,” he stated.
Stressing the need to stand up strongly against the nuclear deal, Netanyahu reminded his audience that previous prime ministers said ‘no’ to America.
“Ben-Gurion said ‘no’ to America. Eshkol said ‘no’ to America. Begin said ‘no’ to America. The Prime Minister of Israel must know how to say ‘no’ when there is an existential issue, but Bennett and Lapid say ‘yes’ and bow their heads in the face of a dangerous agreement that gives Iran a lot of money to arm our enemies, increase terrorism against us and build an arsenal of nuclear bombs.”
Yet Bennett and Lapid “do nothing,” he said.