Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Foreign Minister Yair Lapid of endangering Israel by pledging to update the US on any military actions Israel could take against Iran ahead of time.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Lapid and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed on a policy of “no surprises” when they spoke on Thursday, and promised to maintain open and regular communication channels.
“If there were no surprises, we wouldn’t have been able to destroy the reactor in Iraq,” Netanyahu says of the 1981 strike ordered by prime minister Menachem Begin, noting that he had been asked for such a commitment several times by Washington over his 15 years in power and always refused. (In 2007, prime minister Olmert indicated to president Bush that Israel would strike Syria’s nuclear reactor, but did not coordinate the attack with the US.)
Netanyahu says he was asked specifically by President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, “don’t surprise us” on Iran, but refused to make such a commitment, telling them only, “I’ll take your request into account.”
Branding Lapid Israel’s “prime minister in practice,” he said Lapid and Bennett “gave up the right to act without advance notice” against the Iranian regime and its nuclear program.
“I cannot think of a weaker and more flaccid message we could be sending Iran,” he says, adding that the country’s ayatollahs can now “sleep well at night.”
He concludes that the new government is “not fit to lead.”
“This is not a political issue; this is an issue of security, of lives being endangered,” he charges.
Addressing claims from Lapid of “disarray” left by his government, Netanyahu quips that Yesh Atid inherited ministries from Blue and White, which is part of the government.