Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett. .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
During an interview with Steven Sackur on the BBC program Hard Talk, MK and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) qualified Palestine as a "fake state."
"The Palestinian issue is a fake issue, just like the notion of a Palestinian state is a fake state," he said, when asked about the effects of US President Donald Trump's declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Bennett then changed the subject, charging that the states in the region were focused solely on countering Iran, and that the only people focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were "studios in London."
Bennett on BBC HardTalk defends Netanyahu & Jerusalem: "Palestine" is a Fake State (YouTube/ נפתלי בנט | Naftali Bennett)
When challenged about the consequences of Trump's move on the prospects for a peace and the future for a Palestinian state, Bennett deflected, questioning the Sackur instead of the other way around, leading to an awkward silence and a smirking education minister.
"No one in the Arab world ever accepted the notion of a Palestinian nation. They wouldn't grant them a state. We've granted them a state in Gaza and they turned it into Afghanistan in the heart of Israel. We aren't about to make that mistake again."
The interview topics ranged from Bennett's political aspirations and politicking to regional conflict, in which stability, he claimed, emanates solely from Israel.
Sackur questioned Bennett's loyalty to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he has said he hopes to replace. While he has publicly stated his support for the prime minister, Bennett would stand to benefit from an ousted Netanyahu. The prime minister and his inner circle are currently under several investigations; last week, police arrived at Netanyahu's residence to question him for the seventh time