Mofaz: Netanyahu's Attempting to Meddle in U.S. Politics With New Appointment

Opposition leader blasts PM during special session to approve appointment of Avi Dichter as new home front defense minister, calling it a 'corrupt and cynical move.'

Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday during a special Knesset session to approve the appointment of former Kadima MK Avi Dichter as Home Front Defense Minister.

During the stormy session, in which the Knesset approved the appointment by a vote of 41-26, Mofaz criticized the decision to appoint Dichter, saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was leading a mistaken, corrupt and cynical move.

He also accused Netanyahu of carrying out the move in order to influence to upcoming U.S. elections, saying he was meddling in the affairs of the American voter.

Mofaz further stated that the position of home front minister lacked sufficient authority, and that the Prime Ministers Office had torpedoed the transfer of funds to the ministry.

The Israeli government has not invested even 10% in the home front relative to the total amount invested in preparing for an attack in the face of a nuclear threat that has yet to come to fruition, said Mofaz, adding that the home front minister has no real tools in order to prepare civilians for the aftermath of an attack.

During the discussion, Isaac Herzog (Labor) warned Dichter that would become cannon fodder for the current government, saying that the government would ultimately hold him responsible.

Dichters appointment was presented by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who thanked former Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai for advancing the preparedness of the civilian home front in a dramatic way.

Barak also rejected the criticism lobbed at him by opposition members, saying that the Iranian issue would be handled in a transparent manner and that the issue deserves calculated and organized thinking.

When a decision will be required, the government will be the one to make it. Not a group of citizens – not even newspaper editorials," he said.

Shaul Mofaz.
Michal Fattal