Netanyahu Behind Closed Doors: Who Will Defend Israel, Herzog? Livni?

'Who will handle Hamas and the Islamic State?' Netanyahu asked the Likud Central Committee, according to recording obtained by Army Radio.

Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud supporters that his political rivals, Isaac Herzog (Labor) and Tzipi Livni (Hatnuah), are unfit to run the country and deal with the threats facing Israel, according to a recording obtained by Army Radio that aired Friday.

"Who will handle Hamas and the Islamic State?" Netanyahu asked members of the Likud Central Committee behind closed doors on Wednesday.

"Who will stop the 'infiltrators'?" he said referring to African asylum-seekers and migrant workers. "Bougie? Tzipi?" he asked, referring to the two and calling the Labor leader by his nickname.

Army Radio reported that his question was met with laughter from the crowd.

Netanyahu went on to say that under his leadership, "We dealt blows to Hamas, and we did other things that I won't talk about. I won’t discuss them – but you know."

He also reiterated that he believes there is a clear attempt to overthrow Likud and replace it with a left-wing government. "That is the goal," he said, adding that various political parties and the media were taking part in that effort to unseat him.

A representative for the Labor party told Army Radio in response that, "Netanyahu is hysterical because he knows the public is fed up with him. He failed in security and economic [issues], and no speech can hide that."