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The Schmooze

Eliezer Melamed Criticizes Netanyahu’s ‘Inflated Ego’

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accustomed to mockery from the left for his conviction that Israel is on the brink of grave danger from Iran. But now he faces harsh words from one of the far right’s most renowned ideologues.

Eliezer Melamed, the very same rabbi who caused furor and state sanctions against his yeshiva for saying that troops told to evacuate settlements or outposts should disobey, has rattled off a stinging and very personal attack against Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

They have “inflated egos” and “one must fear that personal agenda motivates them to act against Iran,” he says in a new magazine article. Bizarrely echoing the left, he writes: “Israel’s predicament is not different than those faced by other countries… contrary to what Barak and Netanyahu say, Iran is not the greatest threat on Israel, it is one threat among many.” He criticized them for making empty threats to Iran.

Melamed is hugely influential. The article he just published could spur something Israel has never seen: a religious anti-war movement. Peace rallies on the hilltop settlements of the West Bank — now there’s a thought.

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