Bennett and Marzel compete over who is more right-wing

Bayit Yehudi chairman and Yahad party candidate exchange verbal blows while vying over strongest opposition to land concessions to Palestinians.

Baruch Marzel  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Baruch Marzel
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and right-wing activist and Yahad candidate Baruch Marzel exchanged verbal blows on Thursday in a contest to be the most right-wing and the least open to territorial concessions to the Palestinians.
Writing on his Facebook page, Bennett said all the leaders of the major political parties had something in common.
“All of them either supported or support giving territory of the Land of Israel to Arabs. In Oslo, during the Disengagement [from Gaza], in the Hebron Agreement, Camp David or today,” wrote Bennett.
“Only Bayit Yehudi says in a clear voice: We will never allow the transfer of one centimeter of the Land of Israel to Arabs. Period.”
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post last week, Yahad head Eli Yishai specifically ruled out any territorial concessions, saying “it is impossible to give away any territory from the Land of Israel; I do not believe in this. We are against returning territory.”
Bennett’s Facebook comments may have been referring to Yishai’s presence as a cabinet minister in the first Netanyahu government from 1996 to 1999 during which the Hebron Protocol and the Wye River Memorandum were agreed with the Palestinian Authority.
Yishai was also a cabinet minister during the Annapolis negotiations under the Olmert government in which proposals were made to the PA granting it more than 93 percent of the West Bank to a putative Palestinian state.
Yishai said he had opposed the proposals although he never withdrew Shas from the government despite the sweeping concessions Olmert offered the PA.
Marzel, who’s Otzmah Yehudit party joined Yahad for the election, took umbrage at Bennett’s comments and sought to highlight what he described as Bennett’s own failings in not being sufficiently hard-line.
“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” wrote Marzel in response to Bennett’s comments.
“I wanted to remind you that during your time, dozens of Jewish homes were destroyed,” said Marzel. “The Palestinian Authority broadened its grip on Jerusalem.
You sat in a government that released hundreds of terrorists, and above all, you are advancing a plan for autonomy the meaning of which is abandoning of the territory of our holy land, in other words, a Palestinian state,” as Ayelet Shaked acknowledged on the Kitzis television program.”
Bennett has said that he would annex and apply Israeli sovereignty over Area C of the West Bank, approximately 60% of the entire territory but with only approximately 70,000 Palestinians living there, and allow Palestinian self-rule in the remaining territory.