Economy Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at INSS in Tel Aviv, Dec. 18, 2014.
(photo credit: BAYIT YEHUDI SPOKESMAN)
The Palestinians’ behavior shows they’re not worthy of a state, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said amid heckling at a Institute for National Security Studies conference in Herzliya on Thursday.
Following the Palestinians’ latest petition to the UN Security Council, Bennett called the European Parliament and other European legislatures’ decisions to recognize a Palestinian state “foolish,” but said Israel must recognize its own mistakes, as well.
“The willingness to give territory to our enemy is the entry pass of every ‘statesman’ to international legitimacy... It’s a simple procedure: Blame Israel, apologize, say we are occupiers, that giving away land is going too slowly, and boom, you find yourself loved, embraced, at cocktail parties in various European countries with people like you. You are valued, enlightened, one of the guys; suddenly you’re called a ‘man of peace,’” Bennett said.
The Bayit Yehudi chairman repeated his party’s campaign message that he won’t be silenced and won’t apologize
, as the crowd shouted at him.
“I won’t give territory in the Land of Israel to Arabs,” he said. “We have to stop apologizing to the world. There was never a Palestinian state here... There was a State of Israel, 2,170 years ago; we celebrate it on Hanukka. It existed 3,000 years ago, too.”
According to Bennett, all the Palestinians did in recent years was prove that they are not worthy of their own state, because “murder, terrorism and blood do not build a state... rockets and terrorist tunnels built under our kibbutzim after we evacuated Gaza do not build a state.
“When Israel says clearly, without stuttering and without apologizing, that we do not agree to committing suicide and building a Palestinian state on Israeli land, the world will eventually understand,” he posited.
Also on Thursday, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz called the Palestinians’ actions in the UN a declaration of war, not part of a peace process.
“Israel should stop transferring the taxes it collects for the Palestinian Authority and consider dismantling it if it continues to act against Israel in the international arena,” Steinitz suggested on Israel Radio. “Establishing a Palestinian state in the current conditions will bring war, terrorism and a Hamas and Islamic State takeover of Judea and Samaria.”
Construction Minister Uri Ariel called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the “quiet construction freeze” in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“Strengthening sovereignty and construction in Judea and Samaria will clarify to the hypocrites around the world that we are here to stay,” Ariel said.
“Judea and Samaria are part of the State of Israel and are as legitimate as Tel Aviv and Haifa, and instead of apologizing, the time has come to say so clearly,” the minister said.
Danny Dayan, former chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and a current Bayit Yehudi primary candidate, called for the government to come out against a Palestinian state.
According to Dayan, the Palestinian petition to the UN shows that the prime minister’s 2009 “Bar-Ilan Speech,” in which he expressed support for eventual Palestinian (demilitarized) statehood, is being used to threaten Israel.
“The ‘yes, but’ tactic in dealing with Palestinian statehood went bankrupt and led to increased diplomatic pressure on Israel,” Dayan said. “The time has come to bury the two-state idea once and for all and say simply and firmly to the world that Israel is not willing to establish a terrorist state on its borders and will not give up parts of the homeland.”
Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev said the Palestinian draft resolution was a result of Netanyahu’s lack of initiative.
“If we use the same recipe as Netanyahu, which includes disrespect and harm to Israel-US and Israel-Europe relations, the result, which we see today, is defeat for the State of Israel,” he said.
Bar-Lev accused the prime minister of fear-mongering rather than initiating a separation from the Palestinians.
“The coming election is about either a binational state with Netanyahu or a Jewish and democratic state with [Labor chairman Isaac] Herzog,” Bar-Lev said.