Liberman questions sincerity of ministers calling for pardon of soldier

Defense Minister Liberman accused Naftali Bennett and other ministers of calling to pardon IDF soldier Elor Azaria of his manslaughter conviction for their own personal gain.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman accused other ministers of using slogans for their own benefit in their calls for a pardon of IDF soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter for killing a neutralized terrorist.

“All these slogans which we’re hearing from different ministers are slogans for the sake of these ministers themselves and not for the sake of Azaria,” claimed Liberman in an interview with Israel Army Radio. “They’re not taking care of Azaria, they’re taking care of themselves and this harms our ability to deal with the situation.”

Although the defense minister had previously expressed sympathy for Azaria, he has said that the ruling should be accepted though difficult it may be.

Liberman singled out Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, who has consistently called for Azaria to be pardoned.

“The Education Minister should at least know how to read, and read the law,” added Liberman.

Bennett responded by discounting the defense minister’s credibility. “I don’t think that in issues surrounding war, in the field of combat, that I would take lessons from Liberman,” he said.

Bennett also claimed that Israel has an obligation to support its soldiers who are automatically deployed into dangerous and challenging situations.

“When we send a combat soldier who volunteered to serve in a combat unit into the battle field, which is not in a cafe in Tel Aviv but an extremely dangerous battlefield, and he is defending us from a murderous intifada and makes a mistake, which was a bad mistake, we as the state of Israel should back him,” added Bennett.

By: World Israel News Staff