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Issue #1732      May 25, 2016

“Extremists and dangerous elements”

Israel’s defence minister quit last week saying he no longer trusted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose party was now ruled by “extremist and dangerous elements.”

Moshe Yaalon resigned amid rumours that Netanyahu was about to replace him.

Far-right Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman is tipped as his replacement – part of a deal proposed to bring the opposition party in from the cold to shore up the perennially shaky coalition government.

“To my great dismay, extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel, also over the Likud party, and are shaking the house and threatening to hurt its inhabitants,” Yaalon said.

“I fought with all my might against manifestations of extremism, violence and racism in Israeli society that threaten its sturdiness and are seeping into the army and already damaging it.”

Yaalon fell out with Netanyahu in March over the Israeli Defence Forces’ decision to prosecute a soldier caught on video executing a wounded, helpless and unarmed Palestinian following a failed knife attack.

The minister backed the army but Netanyahu and Lieberman defended the murderer.

Yaalon’s departure may also pave the way for US-born settler extremist Yehuda Glick to come into the cabinet.

Glick’s demands for Israelis to be allowed to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque at the Noble Sanctuary – known to Jews as the Temple Mount but Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina – helped ignite the spate of stabbings of Israeli occupation forces and settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent months.

Morning Star

Next article – Fear and loathing in the empire

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