TEL AVIV — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party mocked the rival Blue and White party for putting out two contradictory statements in the same minute regarding Sunday’s flareup with Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, and slammed the party’s number two, Yair Lapid, for putting politics before the lives of soldiers.
Lapid accused the prime minister of saying too much regarding tensions with Hezbollah in a bid to garner more support ahead of the September 17 elections.
“The children in the north are in shelters for one reason: Because Bibi [Netanyahu] violated the successful policy of ambiguity ahead of the elections,” tweeted Lapid. “This is what happens when the prime minister plays politics at the expense of security.”
Meanwhile, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz put out a tweet that struck a very different tone at the exact same time Sunday, promising to suspend his party’s election campaign until after the latest round of violence was over. When it comes to Israel’s security, the party leader maintained, there is “no opposition and no coalition in an operation against anyone who tries to harm the citizens of Israel or its sovereignty.”
The Hezbollah terror group on Sunday fired several anti-tank guided missiles at an army base and struck a military APC in northern Israel in an apparent reprisal for an Israeli attack in Syria that saw two of the terror group’s operatives killed. No one was harmed in the attack, despite the release of a video that seemed to show the evacuation of bleeding IDF soldiers to a hospital. The video later turned out to be a fake aimed at compelling Hezbollah to stop attacking.
Israel retaliated by firing at around a hundred Hezbollah targets inside Lebanon.
Likud took Blue and White to task over the conflicting statements.
“Two contradictory tweets from Lapid and Gantz put out in the same minute. One big Balagantz,” the party tweeted, using a compound pun for the party leader’s name and the Hebrew word for “mess.”
Likud then went on to issue a scathing rebuke of Lapid for using the security situation to further his own political ambitions.
“Yair Lapid joined his natural partners from the Joint [Arab] List and attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu while he was navigating, with responsibility and firmness, a complicated security incident in the north,” it said.
“Lapid was seriously mistaken when he chose to play politics at the expense of IDF soldiers as they were fighting Hezbollah,” Likud added.
In response, Lapid tweeted, “Your moral preaching and self-righteousness don’t make any impression on me.”