President says resignation is ‘understandable, even appropriate,’ but hopes outgoing minister will ‘soon return to serve.’
President Reuven Rivlin responded to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s (Likud) sudden resignation on Friday, expressing his remorse for Ya’alon’s “timeout” from politics.
Ya’alon made the surprise move after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his post to Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman to bring his party into the coalition. Instead of taking Netanyahu’s offer to become Foreign Minister, Ya’alon resigned and vowed to return and contend for leadership.
“I am greatly saddened by the resignation of Lt. Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya’alon,” said Rivlin in a statement.
“Against the background of recent events, the break from political life he is taking is understandable, and even appropriate, but at the same time represents a great loss to us all.”
Rivlin added that “‘Boogie’ (Ya’alon) is a practical professional leader; brave, modest, considerate and responsible for the sake of the security of the State for decades. I am hopeful that he will restore his energy, and soon return to serve the people and the country.”
Ya’alon’s resignation followed growing tensions displayed in a recent faceoff against Netanyahu, when the Defense Minister supported IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan who compared Israel to Nazi Germany at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony.
Earlier this week Ya’alon escalated matters further when he told IDF officers to give their personal opinions, regardless of whether they countered the policy of the political echelon, leading Netanyahu to summon him for a talk.