Bennett tones down anti-Netanyahu rhetoric

Bennett sparked tension in the coalition when he told a conference of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) that Israel suffered from a lack of strategic thinking.

January 20, 2016 21:48
1 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett. (photo credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP)


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Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett attempted to lower the flames Wednesday following his high-profile attack Tuesday night on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Bennett sparked tension in the coalition when he told a conference of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) that Israel suffers from a lack of strategic thinking and is deadlocked mentally, not diplomatically.

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He toned down his remarks Wednesday when he told a conference of mayors in Haifa that what Israel requires is a reconsideration of its axioms.

“A deep discussion is necessary on key issues, not personalities,” Bennett said. “We have the best and most creative minds in the world here in Israel. They just need to be used.”

Sources close to Netanyahu dismissed Bennett as a “talkbacker” on Wednesday, responding to his remarks at the INSS.

“It seems that there are those who still don’t understand the difference between being a minister in the cabinet and a talkbacker in the opposition,” a source close to the prime minister said. “While the IDF, police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) are fighting terror everyday, in every place, members of the government are expected to be responsible and join the common effort, rather than scrounging for votes by spouting slogans and populist taunts against the government in which they sit.”

Bennett’s associates responded to the criticism by saying that he had said in the speech what was in his heart and that he would continue to say what he believes, even if there will be those who will not like it.

Daniel Clinton contributed to this report.


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