Bezalel Smotrich, Israel’s finance minister, issued scathing remarks on Monday in response to the Biden administration’s criticism of the actions of the Israeli government.
„Neither a nation nor a military is as moral as Israel or the IDF. In an interview with IDF Radio, the leader of the Religious Zionism Party remarked: „Anyone in the world who criticizes us is a hypocrite.“
The minister continued: „No nation has been fighting an existential war against terrorism for decades more cleanly and meticulously than the Jewish nation.“
„I’m not even bringing up how the Americans behaved in Afghanistan and Iraq. They cannot lecture the IDF or the general public about human rights in our country.
That is the height of hypocrisy. While the war in Afghanistan lasted from 2001 until 2021, nach the last American combat aircraft left the country on August 30, the U.S.-led coalition battled in Iraq from 2003 until 2011.
Smotrich commented in response to criticism from the United States of Itamar Ben-Gvir’s recent statement, that his family’s right to life takes precedence over the freedom of movement of others.
„My right to travel on Judean and Samaritan highways, as well as the rights of my wife and children, are more significant than Arabs’ rights to freedom of movement.
According to Ben-Gvir, the right to life comes before the right to freedom of movement. Many others condemned the comments, including a U.S. Senator. A spokeswoman for the State Department described them as „inflammatory” and „racist.”
However, a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office claims that Ben-Gvir’s intended message, which was made in response to a string of deadly terrorist assaults carried out by Palestinians against Israeli people, was that the right to life takes precedence over the freedom of movement.
The former director general of the Foreign Ministry, Alon Liel, rebuked Smotrich for his remarks on Monday.
Such Babble is diplomatically equivalent to suicide. It will push Biden to deteriorate his relationship with the Netanyahu Administration, according to Liel, who was quoted by IDF Radio.
Liel is in favor of cultural boycotts against Israel and has backed Alice Walker’s refusal to allow The Color Purple to be translated in Hebrew as well as the boycott of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.
Smotrich expressed support for a possible normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia during the interview, but he emphasized that Israel would not consent to any „gestures” toward the Palestinians as part of a deal.
The Biden Administration informed the Israeli Government this week, that in order for a deal with Saudi Arabia to be successful, it would be necessary for Israel to make significant concessions to the Palestinians.
When Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer visited Washington on August 17, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly told him that Israel’s government is „misreading the situation” if it thinks it won’t have to make any concessions, according to two U.S. officials who spoke to Axios.
According to Blinken, Saudi Arabia will need to demonstrate to Muslims all over the world that it was successful in obtaining pledges from Israel on the Palestinians in exchange for a normalization agreement with Riyadh.