Netanyahu seems ‘to have lost his wits’ says Mofaz after meeting with PM

Prime minister is ‘confused, stressed out’ on Iran, says opposition leader; Likud irate over comments

Netanyahu (left) and Mofaz speak at a committee meeting in the Knesset in January 2012 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Netanyahu (left) and Mofaz speak at a committee meeting in the Knesset in January 2012 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed “confused, stressed out and unfocused” to Kadima head Shaul Mofaz when the two met last week to discuss the latest developments with Iran, the opposition leader told Army Radio Sunday morning.

“He seems to have lost his wits,” said Mofaz, “and rather than making thought-out, responsible decisions, he is creating the sense of an impending war.”

Reactions from the prime minister’s Likud party to the statements were furious. One unidentified source told Army Radio that “Mofaz is irresponsibly using details from the briefing, despite being asked specifically to not use them in a public manner.”

“The prime minister has lost the faith of the security chiefs, United States President [Barack] Obama, and [Israeli] President Shimon Peres,” according to Mofaz. “This is a bankrupt leadership.”

Mofaz said that in the past, Israel was in a position to deal rationally with difficult situations. “But you cannot put the country into the frenzy of war,” he said. “There is a direct correlation between the talk of war, the economic situation, and people’s despair.”

He said that the New Year’s gift that Netanyahu was giving the Israeli public — the Jewish new year falls later this month — was higher prices. He was referring to a 55 agorot per liter hike in gas prices that went into effect this past weekend, bringing them to an all-time high of NIS 8.25 per liter

Mofaz also supported the comments made earlier Sunday morning by former Supreme Court justice Dr. Eliyahu Winograd, who referred to the talk by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak about a strike on Iran as “irresponsible.”

According to Mofaz, Winograd “joins a long list of people” who have spoken out strongly against an attack on Iran, and against the irresponsible manner in which Netanyahu and Barak have conducted the entire situation.

“Winograd’s primary arguments against an early strike have also been voiced by every head of the defense establishment, the president of the United States, and an ongoing stream of highly placed administration visitors” to Israel, Mofaz said.

He added that at this stage, working alone, Israel will not be able to change Iran’s nuclear strategy. Beyond that, an early attack will most likely result in a very difficult war for Israel.

“We have to wait and see how things play out,” Mofaz said. “There is still time, and the United States will have to lead any initiative against Iran.”


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