Israeli Finance Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, yesterday accused former Prime Minister and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu of using propaganda methods similar to those used by the Nazis.
Lieberman accuses Netanyahu of being behind claims made by Yossi Kamisa, a former aide, that the finance minister had commissioned him to kill a police superintendent 20 years ago.
"It is a blood libel," Lieberman said yesterday. "These are Netanyahu's methods, exactly like those of Goebbels and Stalin, to make the most severe, absurd accusation and repeat it a million times until people get used to the absurdity."
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defence Minister Benny Gantz condemned the comparison.
"Even when we are faced with an endless machine of poison and incitement that is gnawing at Israeli society, the Holocaust should be left out of the conversation," Lapid wrote on Twitter.
"Any statement that equates or implies this only harms the memory of the Holocaust and our social cohesion," he added.
Gantz said he "highly appreciates" Lieberman, but he "condemns the unacceptable comparison to those who committed the worst atrocities in human history," stressing that "limits must be set" even during a difficult election campaign.
The Likud party slammed Lieberman for the "insult", it went on to imply that he has mafia links by calling him "Don Lieberman."
In a statement it said: "Don Lieberman has no boundaries. His false and outrageous words are an insult to the Holocaust."
Lieberman replied in a tweet: "Netanyahu has indeed forgotten that the people closest to him chose to call the Israel Police 'the Gestapo' but he still remembers very well how to use propaganda methods to harm me."
He added: "I did not intend to harm anyone and certainly not on an issue so close to my heart: the Holocaust and World War II, in which some of my family were victims."
Lieberman continued: "Nobody will preach morality to me, and my actions speak for themselves," highlighting his efforts to boost welfare payments for Holocaust survivors in Israel.