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Bennett scolds Netanyahu for lack of grace


Prime Minister Naftali Bennett criticized opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday for his failure to acknowledge Bennett’s presence at a farewell event for outgoing Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman.

During the event and following Bennett’s speech, Netanyahu gave an address to Argaman, beginning by greeting the assembled dignitaries – all except the prime minister.

This prompted members of the audience to shout out to Netanyahu, “There’s a prime minister here, too.”

Writing on his Facebook page on Friday summarizing the week’s events, Bennett included a reference to the incident, saying Netanyahu’s actions were dangerous.

“The jarring and unstatesmanlike incident at the event was a shame,” wrote the prime minister.

“I was not the only one who shifted uncomfortably in his seat. I hope that the leader of the opposition will understand that political disagreements are natural; arguments are part of life. But undermining the legitimacy of an Israeli government is something dangerous.”

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaking in the Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaking in the Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)

The Likud Party responded by saying that Bennett did not mention Netanyahu’s name at a recent event commemorating the Abraham Accords normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, of which Netanyahu was a key architect, giving Netanyahu the title “Prime Minister” in its response.

“Bennett is so ‘statesmanlike’ that he ‘forgot’ to mention Prime Minister Netanyahu at a commemoration event for [former] president [Shimon] Peres and an event marking a year since the historic peace accords, which the prime minister worked to bring about, in whose merit government ministers fly back and forth without end to the Gulf states,” said the Likud in its response to the prime minister.

“And as to Bennett’s comment about undermining democracy, it’s always good not to forget what he said just a few months ago,” the response continued, followed by a video sent to the press of Bennett giving an interview in which he said it would not be democratic for a party leader to head a government with only 10 Knesset seats.

Bennett’s Yamina Party won just seven seats in the last election – and one of his MKs, Amichai Chikli, voted against the formation of the government and frequently votes against the coalition.





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