Israeli PM comes under fire for proposing controversial right wing leadear as Defense Minister
May 20, Jerusalem:Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon resigned on Friday after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,proposed to appoint a far-right politician and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as the new Defense Minister.
This move by the Isreali PM has caused a stir as opposition leaders objected to the appointment."I informed the PM that after his conduct and recent developments, and given the lack of faith in him, I am resigning from the government and parliament and taking a break from political life," Ya'alon said.
Lieberman had served as the Israeli foreign minister from 2009 to 2012 and from 2013 to 2015. He also chairs a right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party and is known for his extremist proposals, that range from wanting to “cut off heads” of Arab-Israelis not “loyal” to Israel, bomb Egypt’s Aswan dam, and offer Israeli towns with large Arab populations to the future Palestinian state in exchange for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which would then become part of the Jewish state.
The possible appointment, which is expected to be decided by the weekend, has prompted a storm of criticism from the Israeli opposition and Palestinian politicians, who anticipate an even more hostile military policy under Lieberman, who himself lives in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement against the upcoming government reshuffle as “fresh proof there is no real peace partner in Israel,” while calling Lieberman “an extremist,” according to Haaretz.
With his appointment, Israel would send a “message to the world that Israel prefers extremism, the occupation and settlements to a peace accord,” the statement reads.
The Oslo Times