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Bennett scolds Lapid for Iran inquiry call

‘If you don’t want to help, don’t interfere,’ Jewish Home leader says after Yesh Atid chief blasts PM’s handling of foreign policy

Naftali Bennett, July 20, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Naftali Bennett, July 20, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Education Minister Naftali Bennett chastised Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid on Monday for his public criticism of the government’s handling of the Iranian issue, as well as his call for an inquiry on the matter.

“Every soldier knows that you don’t conduct an investigation during a battle. If you don’t want to help, at least don’t interfere,” he said during a Jewish Home faction meeting, according to the NRG news site.

Bennett was reacting to Lapid’s call on Saturday to establish a state commission of inquiry into what he said was Netanyahu’s diplomatic failure regarding the newly signed nuclear deal with Iran.

“When you speak in Hebrew and attack us, the world knows how to translate it. I expect our politicians to act responsibly, especially at this time,” Bennett said.

Lapid had called Netanyahu’s diplomacy efforts on the matter “the greatest foreign policy failure in Israeli history” and said no one in the international community was interested in listening to the Israeli leader.

He continued his critique of the prime minister at a Yesh Atid faction meeting on Monday. He blamed Netanyahu for the “terrible [nuclear] agreement.”

“We are not hounding Netanyahu, Netanyahu’s mistakes are hounding us,” Lapid said.

Yair Lapid, speaks during a Yesh Atid party meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem on July 20, 2015. ( Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yair Lapid, speaks during a Yesh Atid party meeting at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem on July 20, 2015. ( Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog has also criticized the premier’s failure to prevent the accord with Tehran. On Sunday the Zionist Union chief denied rumors that he was joining Netanyahu’s coalition, instead calling for the prime minister’s removal from the government.

“Benjamin Netanyahu must be replaced. We must send him home. I say ‘no’ to crawling into Netanyahu’s far-right government,” said Herzog.

The Iran nuclear agreement, which was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council Monday afternoon put restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, and was widely condemned by Israeli politicians.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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