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Facing Ax, Israel Defense Minister Slams Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘Lack of Moral Direction’

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Thursday he has been “surprised” of late at a “loss of moral compass on basic questions” in Israeli society, even as far right wing Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman worked to finalize an agreement that would see him replace Ya’alon as defense chief and expand the ruling coalition.  

“We need to steer the country in accordance with one’s conscience and not whichever way the wind is blowing,” said Ya’alon at a seminar of Israel’s Youth Movement in Tel Aviv.

Lieberman neared a final deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join the Likud-led coalition on Wednesday. If finalized, the deal would see Ya’alon removed from his post as defense minister and possibly appointed to the Foreign Ministry.

“I can’t say that I wasn’t surprised,” said Ya’alon regarding the current trends and rhetoric in Israeli society, saying that some were blatantly attacking the nation’s basic values.

Ya’alon didn’t directly address Lieberman’s impending appointment as defense minister, but said that “There’s an expression that ‘the truth will lead the way,’ and I’m a big believer in that.”

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