Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused his remarks on Sunday night on the importance of keeping the government together, rather than the expected announcement of when the country would go to early elections, and announced he would take on the role of defense minister.
Netanyahu opened his remarks with a recap of his own history and that of his late brother as members of Israel’s elite special ops units, and his own multiple injuries in battle.
“I endangered my life time after time . . . As prime minister I gave the orders for countless actions during, and between wars, to ensure the security of the State of Israel. Most are still unknown.”
The State of Israel at this point, he said, is “in one of the most complex situations,” adding that “It is irresponsible to go to elections” at this point.
Instead, Netanyahu focused on the need for strong defense, and tight security.
“In security matters,” he said, “there is no room for politics.”
His address — which was brief — followed an inconclusive meeting with Kulanu Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who along with Bayit Yehudi Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, has been largely focused on disbanding the government and moving ahead with new elections.
Bennett has been pressuring Netanyahu for the post of defense minister since the resignation of Yisrael Beytenu Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman last week.
“I know what what to do and when to do it,” Netanyahu said. “I will do what needs to be done.” He repeatedly underlined the importance of keeping the coalition together while Israel faces the existential threat posed by Iran.
“I’m going to work,” he concluded.