Bennett: Obama's policies could lead to violence

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 31, 2013 02:06

Economics and Trade Minister: 2nd intifada shows concession of land won't lead to peace, but rather to more violence.

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Economic and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett meeting US President Barack Obama, March 2013.

Bennett, Peres and Obama 370. (photo credit:Yosef Avi Yair)

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett became the first senior minister in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to slam US President Barack Obama on Friday when he accused him of wishful thinking and warned that his policies could lead to the mass murder of Israelis.

In a lengthy Hebrew post on his official Facebook page, Bennett said the atmosphere during Obama’s visit reminded him of the Oslo period. He recalled that during that time in the mid-1990s, there was a feeling that if Israel conceded enough, peace would come.

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“There were the usual statements about both sides wanting peace and two states side by side being the only chance for peace,” Bennett wrote. “These are nice statements but they are distant from reality.”

Bennett noted that in the second intifada that followed Israel’s concessions in Oslo, hundreds of Israelis were killed in suicide bombings in cafes and on buses in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. He singled out the 2002 bombing of Netanya’s Park Hotel on Passover Seder night that left 32 Israelis killed and 160 wounded.

“Back then they also said that there is no military solution to terror and that only diplomatic talks would work, but Operation Defensive Shield proved that they were wrong and that actually only force can defeat terror,” Bennett wrote. “We trounced terror.”

Bennett said he was proud that he came back from the United States where he was advancing his hi-tech company to fight in the operation in Tulkarm.

“Now that I am a minister, I will act in every way possible to prevent another tragedy, even if it’s not popular,” he wrote. “I will use my brains and will not drift after conventional wisdom.

I want peace with the Arabs no less than anyone else, but giving territory to our enemies is not the answer.”

Bennett said he told Obama that the time has come to consider new directions on the Palestinian issue that would be different and creative. He said the president responded that he wanted to meet with him and listen.“The lesson is never be silent, even if everyone thinks differently,” Bennett concluded.


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