Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted promptly and scornfully to the attack on him by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, who resigned less than one month ago, and who announced Thursday at the Herzliya Conference that Iran is not an existential threat.
“Security is a serious matter,” Netanyahu said in a video. “You cannot say, at a conference in Munich four months ago, that Iran poses an existential threat to Israel, and say at the Herzliya Conference today that Iran is not an existential threat to Israel.”
“You cannot express full confidence in the leadership when you are inside, and say the exact opposite when you are outside,” he added with a typically confident Netanyahu smirk. “And that is why one should not attach too much importance to these political attacks.”
“True leadership does not deny threats,” he said. “It sees them as they are and it prepares itself to deal with them, and that is exactly what we will continue to do seriously, with responsibility and presence of mind, for the security of Israel.”
“The leadership should stop scaring the citizens and give the feeling that we are on the verge of a second Holocaust,” Ya'alon said earlier. “There is no existential danger to Israel, including the Iranian threat.”
He declared: “I intend to run for the Israeli leadership in the coming elections. In the last few months, the gaps in outlooks between me and the prime minister have become apparent to me.”