Kristine L Ming

Ya’alon: Lapid harming ties with US

Israel does not need elections right now, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Sunday amid an “atmosphere of elections” which has recently dominated headlines.

“Not that I am afraid of elections,” Ya’alon told Army Radio. “I don’t think the Likud needs to fear elections,” but they are “unnecessary.”

A day after Finance Minister Yair Lapid slammed the Likud party leadership for standing on the sidelines whilst serious decisions needed to be made, Ya’alon shot back, criticizing the way the Finance Ministry was being run. “The budget – as it now stands – is a trick,” manipulated by Lapid’s ministry, Ya’alon charged.

The budget not only jeopardized defense spending, he said, but was also presented deceptively.

As for ties with Wshington, which according to the Yesh Atid leader are at an all-time low, Ya’alon highlighted Lapid’s opposition to a long-negotiated deal to purchase F-35 fighter jets from the United States – an endeavor largely backed by the coalition.

Finally, in a reversal of the finance minister’s comments that Prime Minister Benjamin’s Netanyahu’s faction was not dealing properly with important issues, he posed the question, “Is the 0-VAT plan what really important right now?”

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