Naftali Bennett, a former prime minister, lashed out at the reestablishment of links between Saudi Arabia and Iran on Friday, saying it showed the failure of Israeli efforts to forge a regional coalition against Tehran.
“The renewal of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a serious and dangerous development for Israel and is a political victory for Iran. This is a fatal blow to the effort to build a regional coalition against Iran. This is a resounding failure of the Netanyahu government and results from a combination of political neglect with general weakness and internal conflict in the country,” said Bennett in a tweet.
“The countries of the world and the region are watching Israel in conflict with a dysfunctional government that is engaged in systematic self-destruction. Then those countries choose a side,” he said.
Former Israeli prime minister and opposition leader Yair Lapid also blasted the pact, calling it “a collapse of our regional defensive walls that we had been building against Iran” and “a complete failure” for Israel.
“This is what happens when you are focused on the judicial madness instead of doing the work against Iran and strengthening ties with U.S.,” Lapid said.
Their remarks follow Friday’s agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, regional rivals who had cut diplomatic ties seven years prior, to mend fences and reopen posts under Chinese mediation.
The agreement was reached despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent statements about his desire to negotiate a normalisation agreement with Saudi Arabia.