IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot (R), Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and PM Benjamin Netanyahu
IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot (R), Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit:GPO)


The Israeli political battle lines were clearly delineated once again late Sunday, with right wing-nationalist lawmakers denouncing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for his support of an army high command that has become more vocal in offering its opinions on the current state of society.

The fallout from the minister’s remarks reverberated into late Sunday, when Ya’alon was summoned for “an urgent meeting” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

During the sit-down, which is scheduled to take place Monday morning at the prime minister’s office, the premier is expected to reprimand Ya’alon for his remarks on Sunday encouraging the senior officer corps to continue “speaking their mind” about contemporary Israeli society.

“Somebody needs to remind Bogie (Ya’alon’s nickname) that we live in a democracy, not a military regime,” Likud MK Oren Hazan said. “The IDF is not a junta. Its job is to implement the decisions of the civilian leadership and not to disagree with it and chart its own policy.”

Some on the right believe that this may be the beginning of the end of Ya’alon’s tenure as defense minister, a job that has reportedly been offered to Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman. Thus far, Netanyahu has failed to entice his onetime foreign minister to join the coalition.

“After the defense minister’s speech, which is added to his speech from Remembrance Day, I would be very surprised if the prime minister keeps Ya’alon in his current position,” Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich commented on his Twitter feed.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post