PM spoke at Ben Gurion ceremony addressing protests from southern residents and criticism of government’s actions; Netanyahu: the public cannot always be a partner in the crucial considerations that must be concealed from the enemy.
Prime Minister Netanyahu attended a memorial ceremony for late prime minister and pioneer in Israel’s founding, David Ben Gurion, addressing criticism for a ceasefire with Hamas following the recent Gaza crisis.
During his speech at the ceremony in Sde Boker in southern Israel, the prime minister addressed criticism over his decisions regarding the Gaza Strip and challenges in being a leader. He also talked about the protests from Israel’s southern residents who are under constant attack from the Gaza Strip, assuring the Israeli public that the government, security agencies and IDF are “doing everything for Israel’s security, responsibly, discretely on all fronts.”
He stated Wednesday “In normal times, a leader must be attentive to the hearts of the people, and our people are wise. But in times of crisis, when making critical decisions in the field of security, the public cannot always be a partner in the crucial considerations that must be concealed from the enemy.” He added “At these moments, leadership is not to do the easy thing; leadership is to do the right thing, even if it is difficult. Leadership is sometimes facing criticism, when you know confidential and sensitive information that you cannot share with the citizens of Israel, and in this case with the residents of the south, whom I love and appreciate greatly.”
On Israel’s southern residents and ongoing protests to the government’s handling of the latest Gaza crisis, he reassured the public “I hear the voices of the residents of the south… they are precious to me, their words penetrate my heart. But together with the heads of the security forces, I see the overall picture of Israel’s security, which I cannot share with the public.”
He finished his address stating “This is the essence of the legacy given to us by David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister, the leader of our rebirth, a man of the book and the Bible, a visionary and man of action – may his memory be blessed and cherished in the heart of the nation.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned on Wednesday citing the ceasefire with Hamas and government’s handling of the situation with Gaza. Lieberman opposed the ceasefire, announcing he was finished with ongoing “excuses” from the prime minister and government to not deal properly with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The defense minister then called for early national elections.
Several members of parliament have condemned the government’s handling of the recent flare up with Gaza, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett calling to replace Lieberman who will finish his duties on Friday. He has threatened his party’s withdrawal from the current government coalition which could lead to early elections.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will reportedly meet with Bennett on Friday.
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