Israeli Security Chief Slams ‘Lame’ Attack on Iran

Itamar Ben Gvir recently called to execute Palestinian detainees to reduce prison overcrowding

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has mocked an Israeli attack on Iran as “lame,” after Tehran thwarted a small IDF drone strike early on Friday. The incursion was the latest in a cycle of violence between the two Middle Eastern powers after Tel Aviv destroyed Iran’s consulate in Damascus and Tehran responded with strikes of its own. Ben Gvir had urged Israel to “go berserk” in retaliation.

Ben Gvir, who leads the ultranationalist Jewish Power party, made a one-word post on X following the Israeli attack. Written in Hebrew, the Telegraph explained that the post used a “slang word that literally translates as ‘scarecrow’ but also means ‘lame.’” Reuters translated the word to “feeble.”

The post highlighted a public rift within the government in Tel Aviv. Ben Gvir is considered on the extreme end of Israel’s political spectrum and is popular among the right-wing settler movement. He lives in a West Bank settlement and has called for the resettlement of Gaza by Israelis.

Yair Lapid, the Israeli opposition leader, attacked Ben Gvir over the post. “Never before has a minister in the security cabinet done such heavy damage to the country’s security, its image and its international status,” he said. “In an unforgivable one-word tweet, Ben Gvir managed to mock and shame Israel from Tehran to Washington. Any other prime minister would have thrown him out of the cabinet this morning.”

Ben Gvir is also pushing for Tel Aviv to impose the death penalty for Palestinian prisoners in order to relieve overcrowding in Israeli detention centers. Israeli forces have rounded up thousands of Palestinians since October 7, with many reporting torture and other mistreatment while in custody.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.