Bennett: Likud gave away Hebron, brought Gaza disengagement and supported Palestinian state

Bennett does damage control in Eli after Netanyahu visit.

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February 18, 2015 19:17
1 minute read.
naftali bennett

Naftali Bennett at a Bayit Yehudi convention at Tel Aviv University, September 10, 2014.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett attempted to shore up support in the religious- Zionist stronghold of Eli on Wednesday, one week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did the same.

“We voted Likud once, and they gave away Hebron. We voted Likud again, and we got the [Gaza] disengagement. We voted Likud again, and we got the Bar-Ilan speech [in which Netanyahu expressed support for a demilitarized Palestinian state]. We can only stop these things if we are there [in the government],” Bennett declared at the Samaria settlement’s Bnei David pre-military academy.

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Netanyahu’s visit so far into the West Bank was a rare one, and many saw it as an encroachment on Bayit Yehudi’s turf.

While the prime minister was in Eli, he openly encouraged Bayit Yehudi’s voters to move to the Likud, even though the two parties have a loose non-aggression pact. Netanyahu said that no matter Bayit Yehudi’s size, he would include it in a coalition, but Likud must be very large in order to form a government.

On Wednesday, Bennett stated that “we started a major process....

Netanyahu is the driver, but for the first time, we have a hand on the wheel.”

For Bayit Yehudi to keep its hand on the wheel, he added, it must be a big enough party.

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Bennett told the students that he wanted Bayit Yehudi to continue growing “so we can continue doing what we did for the people of Israel, and we did a lot: We helped the economy, we stopped prisoner releases, we passed the referendum law [on sovereign land concessions] that was just a dream for many years, and we put [Palestinian terrorists] released in the Schalit deal back in prison.”

The Bayit Yehudi leader admitted that his party knew it could improve its performance.

Using a military metaphor, he encouraged “anyone who sees what can be fixed [to] help carry the stretcher and have an influence.”

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