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Bennett strikes back at Likud: Stop smear campaign!
By GIL HOFFMAN AND LAHAV HARKOV
04/01/2013
Bayit Yehudi chairman strikes back at Likud's attacks on party, pleading with PM to stop harming Right bloc.
 
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett struck back at the Likud’s attacks on his party on Thursday, pleading with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stop harming the Right bloc.

Speaking at an event at Ariel University, Bennett responded to charges from the Likud that Bayit Yehudi’s Knesset candidates included extremists and people who favor discrimination against women and homosexuals.

“When the Likud saw that attacking me did not work, they switched to an attack on my party’s candidates by twisting their words and taking them out of context,” Bennett said. “I tell my friends in the Likud: Enough with the hatred. This is not the way to build a state, and this is not the way to stop us.”

Bennett noted that his party had three women among its top 12 candidates and none of them required reserved slots to get elected, while the only candidate in the top 12 of the joint Likud- Yisrael Beytenu list was Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, who, Bennett said, “is not a Likudnik.”

The one issue where Bennett confirmed the Likud’s accusations was on gay marriage, which he said his party opposes having the state recognize.

Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat had criticized Bayit Yehudi, saying that “homophobes needed to be taken out of the closet.”

In a personal attack on Bayit Yehudi, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said he did not send his children to religious- Zionist schools because of the separation between the sexes starting in the first grade encouraged by rabbis tied to Bayit Yehudi.

Separately, the prime minister will warn the nation’s citizens of regional dangers in the Likud Beytenu’s campaign video, which will be broadcast on television next week.

A preview of the campaign clip features Netanyahu in his office, pointing to a map of the Middle East.

“When I entered this office, I requested that this map be hung in front of me,” he says in the video. “As prime minister of Israel, I must always look reality in the eye. Our region is undergoing a great upheaval.”

Netanyahu pointed to Syria, Lebanon and Sinai as the launching pads for attempted terrorist attacks that his government worked to prevent, and indicated Iran on the map, saying he enlisted the world’s help to fight the nuclear threat. In addition, he mentioned the Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries deployed in the South and the nearly completed fence on the Egyptian border.

The prime minister asked for citizens’ help to finish important security missions such as filling Israel with Iron Dome batteries, installing fences along every border and, “most important of all,” stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

This will only happen with a strong ruling party, Netanyahu concluded, calling for Israelis to vote for Likud Beytenu.

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