Israel’s defense minister resigns amidst coalition changes

Ya’alon resigns as defense minister, commits to returning to political world, cites political fallout with party and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni)

Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, officially resigned as Defense Minister on Friday, citing his departure from his position to fallouts within the current government and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

While the current government headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu is in talks for coalition changes, Netanyahu will serve as Defense Minister until a new one is appointed. Talks and negotiations have been ongoing between MK’s from Netanyahu’s Likud with Yisrael Beytenu’s MK Avigdor Lieberman, who will likely be appointed defense minister.

Ya’alon gave a press conference where he addressed his departure as defense minister, stating:

“I have informed the prime minister of my resignation from the government and the Knesset and that I’m taking a timeout from politics. I have no intention of quitting political or public life. I will return and I plan to vie for a position of leadership in the future. I have seen every one of my roles as a calling and I have never been willing to sacrifice Israel’s security for political gain. I have worked harmoniously with the prime minister for a long time, especially during Operation Protective Edge, but unfortunately I found myself having serious disagreements with the prime minister and several ministers and MKs, on fundamental issues…”

He went on end his speech, stating, “All throughout, even during the most difficult times, I navigated Israel’s defense and security with determination, responsibility, discretion, and reverence, understanding lives are at stake. Despite the turmoil in the Middle East, Israel today enjoys relative peace along its borders, unprecedented military power that generates deterrence among our enemies, and it has shared interests with our neighbors in the region. This is the result of the defense establishment’s prudent policies. I do not regret my professional stance or my ethics, even if it seems they ended my term as defense minister. I am at peace with the path I have chosen to take and I will not deviate from it. I fear for Israel’s future and I will continue to fight for it, because this is the only country we have.”