Naftali Bennett speaks at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, 2017..
(photo credit: SIVAN FARAJ)
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett is unconcerned about what Israel will be asked to give up in return for United States President Donald Trump’s expected announcements about Jerusalem, he said at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference Wednesday.
Minister of Education Naftali Bennett interviewed by 'Jerusalem Post' reporter Herb Keinon at the 2017 Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, December 6, 2017.
Bennett was interviewed on stage by Post diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon hours before Trump was expected to announce US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and begin the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
When asked if he worried about a price Israel may have to pay in exchange for US recognition of Jerusalem, Bennett replied, "When you do the right thing, there ought not to be a price,” Bennett said. “We have conditioned ourselves that when the right thing is done, there must be a price, and it’s not true.”
When Keinon asked who deserved credit for Trump’s historic moves, Bennett initially replied “destiny,” but minutes later corrected himself and congratulated Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Bayit Yehudi party’s rival for votes on the Right.
Bennett joined other speakers at the conference in calling upon other countries to follow America’s lead by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, which he predicted would be seen in retrospect as a “big step forward toward regional peace.”
“Israel’s strategic patience has paid off,” Bennett said. “We have been told time and time again that we need to sever pieces of our tiny land in order to be loved. But our sympathy in the world dropped when we gave up land. We may have gained sympathy for a couple days but derision long-term. The world respects countries that are strong.”
Asked about Iran’s criticism of the move
, he said “When I see [Iran's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini] Khamenei attacking Israel, I know we must be doing something right.”
The interview concluded with Bennett calling criminal probes of Netanyahu “fluff and noise” and saying that “in a country of law, mere indictments do not topple a government voted in by millions of people.”