search

Netanyahu accuses Lapid, Gantz of ‘babbling’ amid Russian diplomatic crisis

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meets with then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow on January 30, 2020. (Maxim Shemtov/Pool/AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meets with then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow on January 30, 2020. (Maxim Shemtov/Pool/AFP)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu accuses his main political rivals of mismanaging Israel’s relationship with Russia, as Russia attempts to force the Jewish Agency from its borders in reported retaliation for Israel’s stance on its invasion of Ukraine.

In remarks made to reporters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu says that for years “we have lead a measured, balanced and responsible relationship” with Russia, but that there is currently “a dangerous crisis” and Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz are “babbling” and “endangering our national security.”

“We can and need to get out of this crisis,” he says. “I’m worried that what we built over years is being undermined before our eyes in recent weeks.”

He blames “a combination of amateurism, irresponsibility and arrogance” and calls on Lapid and Gantz to “stop the babbling.”

Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, and Lapid was quick to condemn the attack as foreign minister. Netanyahu, who hopes to regain his role as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister after the upcoming November 1 elections, has not mentioned Ukraine since the invasion.

Before being unseated last June, Netanyahu worked to actively warm Israel’s ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed