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Is new defense minister dangerous for Israel?

Some in the Israeli military are panicked over Avigdor Liberman heading the Defense Ministry, but despite his tempestuous reputation, Liberman is neither stupid nor crazy.
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Over the past year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most bitter, dangerous and combative adversary was none other than Yisrael Beitenu Chair Avigdor Liberman. After deciding in May 2015 not to join Netanyahu’s fourth government, Liberman positioned himself as the prime minister’s number one critic. He hit below the belt at times, such as on March 28 when he called Netanyahu a “liar and a crook” while poking at the prime minister's purported cowardice and accusing him of being a danger to Israel’s national security.

Netanyahu hasn't just taken it. He fights back. “The closest thing to a bullet that ever came whizzing past [Liberman's] ear was a tennis ball,” said associates of the prime minister April 16. (In Hebrew, the same word is used for “ball” and for “rifle bullets.”) “A man who had never in his life led soldiers to the battlefield, never made a single operational decision and never attended one Cabinet meeting from beginning to end does not have the qualifications to be a military commentator.” Now Netanyahu intends to appoint this very same person — who is allegedly unqualified to be a military commentator — to the post of defense minister after pushing Moshe Ya’alon, a former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, from the position.

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