Bennett takes credit for pushing Netanyahu to the right

Education minister Naftali Bennett told his party that leadership has a price and called for Bayit Yehudi to be more accepting of a broader segment of Israeli society.

September 26, 2017 20:55
2 minute read.
Naftali Bennett speaking at the Bayit Yehudi central committee.

Naftali Bennett speaking at the Bayit Yehudi central committee.. (photo credit: NACHSHON PHILIPSON)

Bayit Yehudi is responsible for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving up on a two-state solution, the party’s chairman, Naftali Bennett, said at a Bayit Yehudi central committee meeting.

In his address on Tuesday, Bennett, who is also the education minister, listed events in Israeli history that he saw as tragic, among them, the 2005 Gaza disengagement, Netanyahu’s 2009 “Bar-Ilan Speech” in which he accepted a two-state solution and the release of 1,027 terrorists for captive soldier Gilad Schalit in 2011.

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Then he listed Bayit Yehudi’s accomplishments: “The prime minister is no longer talking about a Palestinian state. We no longer release terrorists, period. We even rearrested terrorists who were released” in the Schalit exchange (after they violated the terms of their release).

Bennett laid out his vision for Bayit Yehudi leadership of Israel: “Our leadership revolution...says one simple thing: Leadership, yes. Trampling us and our values, never again.”

At the same time, Bennett told his party that leadership has a price and called for Bayit Yehudi to be more accepting of a broader segment of society.

“We don’t have the luxury of being a niche [party]. If we want our values to lead the country, then we need to know to accept all citizens of Israel.

We will accept those who are different from us... We will not trample on people with opinions that are the opposite of ours, and we cannot think we have a monopoly [on what is right]. We will all live together,” he said.

Bennett also railed against judicial activism, touting his and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s proposed constitution.

He argued that the Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation allows the Knesset to re-legislate laws the Supreme Court canceled.

“With God’s help, we will go back to a situation where the Knesset passes laws, the court interprets them and the government governs,” he said.

“Israel isn’t Venezuela, and the court needs to internalize that. Democracy has deep roots here. Israel is a democracy.”

The education minister was defiant in the face of criticism from outside of his party of “religionization” of secular schools, saying more than once that he is proud of bringing Jewish heritage into the curriculum.

“We are making sure that every Jewish child knows who King David and David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin are,” he said.

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