Netanayhu Asked Ya'alon for IDF Deputy's Clarification Over Holocaust Speech

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Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting, August 24, 2014.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon Wednesday night and expressed disapproval of a speech given by deputy IDF chief Yair Golan earlier in the evening, saying trends in Israeli society today were reminiscent of those in 1930s Germany before the Holocaust.

Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that Netanyahu asked Ya'alon for a statement of clarification from the deputy commander. Such a statement was released a few hours afterward. 

News of the conversation between Netanyahu and Ya'alon were first reported by Channel 2.

"With all due respect to the deputy chief of staff, the prime minister believes he was mistaken in his comments and it's good he fixed them," said sources close to Netanyahu.

Despite Netanyahu's stance of Golan's speech, Ya'alon himself chose to defend the deputy chief of staff. After Golan published the clarification letter, Ya'alon wrote on his Twitter account that Golan's comments were distorted by those deliberately attacking the IDF.

Ya'alon said he had "full confidence" in Golan, calling him a "valued commander, driven by values and many accomplishments."

"The attacks on him due to intentional, distorted interpretations of something he said yesterday, are an additional attempt of a worrisome campaign to inflict political damage on the IDF and its officers," Ya'alon said.

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