Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, who resigned from the government last month amid the news that he would be replaced by current Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has announced his intention to run for prime minister.
Ya’alon accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “scaring” the country in order to distract from serious societal threats.
“At this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel. Thus it is fitting that the leadership of the country stop scaring the citizenry and stop giving them the feeling that we are standing before a second Holocaust,” Ya’alon said Thursday in a speech at the Herzliya Conference.
“If there is something that I lose sleep at night about, it’s not the truckloads of weapons in Syria and Lebanon or Iran’s attempts to wage terror—Israel has the capabilities to deal with these forcefully and with sophistication,” he said. If there is something that I lose sleep over, it’s the cracks in Israel’s society, the erosion of basic values, the attempts to harm IDF soldiers and their commanders….It is my intention to run for the leadership in the next elections.”
Following his remarks, Ya’alon’s former political party, Likud, accused him of hypocrisy.
“Just a few months ago he said Iran is an existential concern for Israel. Today when turned into a politician at the Herzliya Conference, he said that Israel faces no existential threat,” Likud said.