While Amona evictees are maintaining a hunger strike and living in difficult conditions in a dormitory in Yishuv Ofra, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman sees nothing wrong with using their plight as a target for his humor.
Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) correspondent Ido Benagi on Monday morning 8 Adar reported that on Sunday, during a meeting of faction heads, Bayit Yehudi leader Minister Naftali Bennet turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu inquiring into the plight of the new community that the government promised to build for the evictee from Amona and the nine Ofra homes. The Prime Minister reportedly responded “It is a complicated matter and we still don’t have American approval. Give me a few additional days.
Bennet then reminded the Prime Minister that the people in questioning were on a hunger strike. “It isn’t logical for them to be on a hunger strike because my promise wasn’t actualized. They don’t have to strike. We are working on it” Prime Minister Netanyahu is quoted adding.
At this time, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman joined it as he smiled, telling Bennet and Netanyahu “Where are they [hunger] striking? I need to lose weight and I can join them”.
Prime Minister Netanyahu took exception to his words, reminding the senior minister the hunger strikers must be respected and his joke was simply out of place.
Agriculture Minister (Bayit Yehudi) Uri Ariel responded on Galei Tzahal on Tuesday morning, stating “Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s joke was out of place and I suggest he apologize. What is so difficult in saying ‘I erred’”?
MK )Likud) Yehuda Glick was among those expressing criticism of the defense minister’s words. “How much evil can one swallow? Cruelty and insensitivity towards people who list their homes and were thrown into the streets” he added.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)