Bennett lays out defense doctrine in New Right platform

The New Right calls for the IDF to use an “iron fist” against enemy provocations and their use of violence against Israel, and to prevent enemies from growing stronger beyond Israel’s borders.

March 3, 2019 17:27
3 minute read.
Bennett lays out defense doctrine in New Right platform

New Right: Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announce the formation of a new political party in Tel Aviv on December 29. (photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)


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New Right co-leader Naftali Bennett has long aspired to be defense minister, and that shows in his party’s detailed 33-page platform, featuring some of his key policy positions.

“IDF needs to defeat our enemy,” the section reads. “Three decades of the ‘stalemate syndrome’ must end. Only through clear victories will our enemy accept our existence here… War is not the first option for us, but when we must fight, we must clearly win… The IDF must be an offensive, creative, daring and lethal army. That is the IDF’s prime value.”

The New Right calls for the IDF to use an “iron fist” against enemy provocations and their use of violence against Israel, and to prevent enemies from growing stronger beyond Israel’s borders.

The platform gives Bennett credit for “exposing Hamas’ terror tunnels and their destruction” during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, which he argued during and since the operation happened at his insistence.

New Right’s platform also comes out against releasing Palestinian terrorists from prison in exchange for Israeli prisoners or soldiers’ bodies.

“This is morally wrong and destructive to Israeli deterrence,” the platform reads. “We will act to punish terrorists and their abettors in order to change the terror equation.”

The party calls to destroy terrorists’ homes closer to the date of the attack and for terrorists to have the minimal prison conditions allowed according to international law.

At the same time, the party calls for “true peace,” which would be “based on our enemies understanding that Israel will exist here for eternity and with shared diplomatic, security, technological and other interests.”

The platform reflects Bennett and co-leader Ayelet Shaked’s opposition to evacuating settlements and the establishment of a Palestinian state, and their call to annex Area C of the West Bank, which is currently governed by the IDF. Palestinians living in Area C – called “Arabs” in the New Right platform – would be given a choice of Israeli citizenship, or permanent residency with Palestinian Authority citizenship.

 In that vein, the party called for greater civil equality for Israeli residents of the West Bank, including their property rights, and for all Israeli laws to apply to settlements.

“There is massive potential for construction in Samaria and Judea,” the New Right wrote, “especially in places close to the center of the country. We will act for free construction, which will allow doubling the Jewish population in the region and a drop in housing prices for Israel.”

The party suggests continuing in the steps Shaked has taken as Justice Minister to combat judicial activism, including the “override clause” the party proposed in the last Knesset, which would allow a super-majority of lawmakers to vote to overturn a Supreme Court cancellation or alteration of a law.

New Right’s economic platform focused on deregulation, and said they will “make sure any intervention by the state will be done carefully, seriously and minimally and for a necessary goal.” The party calls for a more open market for electricity, trains, mail, airports, sea ports and more. It opposes strikes in essential industries and wants to limit unions’ power.

As for the sharp rise in housing prices, the New Right proposes to “increase the supply… free up a large quantity of land so that contractors can build more houses” and thus lower prices by meeting the demand in the market.

The New Right’s proposal for deregulation also applies to the education sector, with the party calling for greater choice, which would entail granting communities greater freedom to establish new schools and allowing parents to register their children for schools farther from their homes.

The platform also includes a chapter on Israeli Arabs, saying that all citizens have equal rights in Israel, and that is how it should be.

However, the New Right said Israel made mistakes in how it treated Arab citizens, and that it proposes to “show determination against subversive elements” – meaning those who “seek to destroy Israel” – “while strengthening the forces that want to live in dignity in the State of Israel.” New Right also called for granting Druze a “special status” as a community that enlists in the IDF.

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