Ariel condemns Bennett for ‘bragging about nothing’

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, the head of the Tekuma faction in the Jewish Home party, leveled unusually harsh criticism at his party chairperson Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday.

In an interview with Army Radio, Ariel said Bennett was boasting in vain about obtaining achievements in his latest standoff against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which he demanded military secretaries be appointed to Security Cabinet ministers.

Ariel emphasized that Bennett did not achieve his demands – the crisis was averted with a compromise by which the head of the National Security Council (NSC) or his deputy will report to ministers, until a committee that Netanyahu established proposes ways to improve the briefing of Cabinet ministers in three weeks' time.

"What was achieved?" asked Ariel on Wednesday. "That the head of the Security Council, whose role is to brief the ministers, will do that."

"So what's the achievement here? To make headlines? I propose taking a look at the facts."

The compromise on the NSC briefing until the committee gives its report comes after Jewish Home initially rejected Netanyahu's committee proposal, calling it "spin."

Supporting Ariel's assessment that no significant change was made, NSC chief Ya'akov Nagel last Wednesday stated that Cabinet ministers currently can receive in-depth briefings from his organization before every Cabinet meeting.

"Ahead of every Cabinet hearing, every minister who wants to can prepare for the discussion," Nagel told Channel 2, noting that any minister who wanted to could receive NSC's daily intelligence reports and additional information detailing the operational plans of the IDF.

Security officials likewise told Channel 2 that Bennett in the past asked for NSC Security Cabinet briefings on the Iran nuclear threat on four occasions, although he did not pick up all four briefings they prepared for him.


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