Netanyahu’s party defends ministers who bashed IDF chief after Gantz blasted conduct

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud Knesset faction meeting, March 13, 2023. (Erik Marmor/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud Knesset faction meeting, March 13, 2023. (Erik Marmor/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party defends ministers from his and other right-wing parties who attacked IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi during last night’s security cabinet meeting over the army’s plan to open a probe into operational failures ahead of October 7.

The Likud statement comes minutes after war cabinet minister Benny Gantz issued one of his own blaming Netanyahu for allowing the fracas to unfold and demanding that he choose between the national security and unity or politics of the kind that was on display last night.

“The duty of the political and security cabinet is to ask questions and receive answers. This is not politics,” the Likud statement says.

“In wartime when the public is united, Gantz is expected to act responsibly and stop looking for excuses to break his promise to remain in the unity government until the end of the war,” the Likud statement adds.

Gantz’s call for Netanyahu to choose between security and politics did indeed renew speculation that the National Unity chairman is considering leaving the government.

Contrary to the Likud statement, though, Gantz did not pledge to stick around until the end of the war, instead leaving his commitment vague.

“Just as I knew when to enter it, I’ll know when to leave,” he has said when asked.

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