Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon blasted coalition chairman David Biton (Likud) on Saturday, condemning comments aimed at leaders of Israel’s security establishment as “dangerous incitement”.
Yaalon’s criticism came following comments Biton made earlier on Saturday, suggesting that the Shabak and Mossad have institutional inclinations towards the Israeli left, and were “turning their chiefs into left-wingers.”
“There’s a problem with these positions,” Biton said. “Meir Dagan was a hardcore right-winger, but after he took control of the Mossad he ended up the opposite.”
“The heads of the Shabak and Mossad turn into leftists.”
Biton also attacked Yaalon, intimating that he too had been pushed to the left during his tenure as Defense Minister.
“Who should we believe? Yaalon from two months ago, when he praised the Prime Minister, or Yaalon of today?”
Yaalon quickly responded in kind, lambasting Biton’s statements as “embarrassing and disconcerting.”
“The systematic, dangerous attempts to destroy the security establishment politically and to incite against their leadership continues. It’s embarrassing and disconcerting. We will pay a very heavy price for this.”
Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) also castigated Biton on Saturday.
“’What’s happening to the leaders of the security establishment?’ It’s called responsibility and dealing with a complex reality,” said Livni.
“Instead of condemning them, using ‘left-wing’ as a dirty word the way the coalition chairman did, the time has come to understand that security and the far-right do not go hand-in-hand.”
Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) piled on, saying that the "Likud needs to fight terrorism, not the security establishment."