According to reports, tensions were running high in the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, as Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister, was not pleased with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The former said that the latter was not giving enough credit to the ministers for their work. Leaks from the meeting indicated that after the premier had delivered his opening statement and the cameras had been turned off, the Defense Minister demanded that Bennett publicly recognize the work the ministers were doing, including himself. Gantz told the prime minister that there were a number of people who deserved credit for the work the government was doing. He accused the premier of only talking about himself.
He went on to say that even though he was in the room, the prime minister treated him like the welfare minister and that he should have made a mention of him in front of the cameras. At the beginning of the cabinet’s meeting, when Bennett had spoken in front of the camera, he had talked about a large exercise of the Israel Defense Forces. He had also talked about two of the fallen members of the IDF. Even though he talked about the issues that come under the purview of the Defense Minister, he did not make any mention of him directly.
Reports indicated that Bennett had been taken by surprise due to Gantz outburst and informed him to check his Facebook page where he is always mentioning the Defense Minister. Gantz responded that he would certainly do so. Not long after the exchange, Bennett posted about Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on his Facebook page, who had introduced policies that helped Israel in achieving the 8% economic growth rate that it has done so recently. On Sunday afternoon, Bennett posted that the economy and high-tech appear to be soaring.
The premier said that this had been possible to achieve because of the ‘open Israel’ policy they had adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a number of economic reforms that AdvigdorLiberman had promoted with some other cabinet ministers. According to reports, the relationship between Gantz and Bennett is a rather tense one. Recent alternate prime minister and former chief of staff, Gantzhas made some decisions that could be considered a way of outflanking Bennett. Likewise, the two have also gone up against each other on different issues, including the planned trips to India, maintaining relations with the Palestinian Authority and also the one-week coalition freeze of Benny Gantz.
Meir Cohen, the Welfare Minister, was also part of the cabinet meeting where Gantz had lashed out at Bennett. However, reports indicated that he had taken the derisive comparison that the Defense Minister had made in stride. He had told Gantz that being the welfare minister is not easy at all. This appears to be yet another problem that the Prime Minister of Israel appears to be facing, with plenty of other issues, especially where his coalition is concerned that could end up toppling over if this continues.