Transportation minister apologizes to Netanyahu: Sometimes I express the truth too sharply

Smotrich offered the apology after meeting with Netanyahu.

By World Israel News Staff 

Amid calls within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to sack Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich for saying that the premier is “weak” and is showing “zero leadership,” Smotrich apologized on Monday, explaining that “sometimes I say the truth using sharp and serious expressions.”

Smotrich offered the apology after meeting with Netanyahu, during which the prime minister reprimanded Smotrich, according to a Likud source who also said that Netanyahu warned the minister that “if he did not apologize publicly… he would be fired immediately from the cabinet.”

The minister’s verbal assault on Sunday came in response to developments that day: A court ruling barring an Orthodox event because it called for the separation of men and women, which the court deemed a violation of equal rights, and restrictions on Jewish worshipers that initially prevented them from ascending the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av, a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the first and second Temples.

“There can be criticism but it must be to the point and honorable and not stoop to the personal level,” said Smotrich as part of his apology.

“Out of real pain, things are said in a manner in which they should not, and are not worthy to be said, certainly not in the context of a relationship between a prime minister and a minister in his government,” said the Transportation Minister.

The senior Likud source said that Smotrich was told by Netanyahu in their meeting that “there will not be another warning.”

Smotrich was named Transportation Minister by Netanyahu in June during the current transition period between Knesset elections. He was also appointed to the Security Cabinet.