Newly appointed Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) on Sunday criticized former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, now head of the Israel Resilience party.
Speaking in an interview with i24NEWS and Israel Hayom, Katz said that Gantz now opposes the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after having in the past supported it.
When asked about the former IDF Chief, Katz said the Israeli people would much rather hear from Netanyahu than Gantz.
According to Katz, the fact that Netanyahu attended the US-sponsored Mideast security conference in Poland "surrounded by Arab leaders" while Gantz spoke in a "side room" of the less-widely attended Munich conference is testament to Netanyahu's superior role in foreign affairs.
"Not only that Netanyahu's English is better, because that is not the main point. It is that Benny Gantz now opposes things that he once supported," Katz said in a reference to Gantz’s change of heart on the Iran deal
Katz went on to say that Gantz's relevance in Israeli politics is hinged upon a vacuum that exists in place of viable leadership on the left.
In the interview, Katz detailed some of his objectives for his time as Israel's top diplomat: First, he said he plans to "strengthen Jerusalem's status in the world," act to persuade the US to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and further strengthening Israel's relations with neighboring countries.
Asked about the ongoing diplomatic row between Israel and Poland that began when Netanyahu remarked on Polish culpability in Nazi crimes during the Holocaust, Katz defended Netanyahu, though he insisted there is "no crisis" between Jerusalem and Warsaw.
"There were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis. That's what (former Prime Minister) Yitzhak Shamir said about who murdered his father. The Poles," Katz told i24NEWS and Israel Hayom.
"No one will tell us how to express ourselves or how to remember our fallen," he declared.
Earlier on Sunday, Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, cancelled a planned appearance at the upcoming Visegrad Group (V4) summit to be held later this week in Jerusalem.
On Friday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office clarified his remarks.
“In a briefing, PM Netanyahu spoke of Poles and not the Polish people or the country of Poland. This was misquoted and misrepresented in press reports and was subsequently corrected by the journalist who issued the initial misstatement,” said the statement.