Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday slammed the Arab League for refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and compared Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to former Syrian president Hafez Assad.
During a tour of the Golan Heights by Bennett's Bayit Yehudi faction, the minister said, "The Arab League today returned to the the days of Khartoum, when they ruled out peace with us. Today they are denying our right to exist in a Jewish state."
Bennett's comments came after AFP reported Tuesday that the Arab League had decided at its summit in Kuwait that it categorically refuses to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. The decision was an endorsement of the position of Abbas, and a refusal of one of the key demands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in peace talks with the Palestinians.
"As I stand here at the Quneitra observation post on the Golan Heights, I can only wonder what would happen if al-Qaida terrorists were here, threatening our children," Bennett said.
"Unfortunately, security experts who explained to us why we need to leave the Golan Heights are the same experts that tell us today to relinquish our assets for a piece of paper from the Arab League and Abu Mazen [Abbas]," he added.
"This did not happen in the Golan, and it will not happen in any part of the Land of Israel," he vowed.
In a reference to talks Israel held with Syria in 1999, in which then-prime minister Ehud Barak discussed the possibility of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for peace, Bennett referred to Abbas as "a more extreme version of the 1999 model of Assad."