Bennett slams Lapid: There is no logic bringing up Palestinian statehood

From Meretz on the Left to the Religious Zionist Party on the right, Israeli politicians were quick to respond to Lapid's historic statement.

 NAFTALI BENNETT and Yair Lapid hold a press conference at the Knesset last month, where they announced that they will be switching their positions as prime minister and alternate prime minister as the country goes to a new election.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
NAFTALI BENNETT and Yair Lapid hold a press conference at the Knesset last month, where they announced that they will be switching their positions as prime minister and alternate prime minister as the country goes to a new election.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett slammed Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday night, saying that it made no sense to raise the issue of a two state solution before the United Nations.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid will announce at the UN on Thursday that Israel remains committed to a two-state solution. News of the planned announcement drew immediate — and opposing — responses from both sides of the Israeli political spectrum.

"There is no place or logic to raise the idea of a Palestinian state," Bennett wrote on Facebook.

'We need to say clearly," the former prime minister continued. "There is no place for another state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Not just because of our right to the land but also because practically there is no chance of a diplomatic process with the Palestinians succeeding."

The Israeli Left:

"I congratulate prime minister Lapid," Meretz chair Zehava Galon wrote on Twitter. "Millions of Israelis and Palestinians are waiting for a diplomatic horizon, that will put an end to the cycle of bloodshed. I call on the prime minister to go one step further and meet with [Palestinian Authority head] Mahmoud Abbas at the UNGA."

"Millions of Israelis and Palestinians are waiting for a diplomatic horizon, that will put an end to the cycle of bloodshed."

Meretz chair Zehava Galon

The Israeli Right:

 PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during his news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on August 16.  (credit: Lisi Niesner/Reuters) PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during his news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on August 16. (credit: Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

Religious Zionism Party leader Bezalel Smotrich attacked the announcement.

"After years in which the Right managed to remove the folly of a Palestinian state from the agenda and makeAbbas an irrelevant figure in the world, Gantz and Lapid are leading a dangerous process that brings this deviant idea back to the table," he said in a statement.

"Gantz brought Abbas back to the center of the political stage last year and now Lapid is irresponsibly pushing us back twenty years and inviting international pressure on Israel to promote a step that is nothing less than suicide for the State of Israel.

"Gantz brought Abbas back to the center of the political stage last year and now Lapid is irresponsibly pushing us back twenty years and inviting international pressure on Israel to promote a step that is nothing less than suicide for the State of Israel."

Religious Zionist Party head Bezalel Smotrich

"Even before this evil government was established, we warned that it would bring us back onto the Oslo track. We implored Bennett and Shaked not to break their promises and not to make Lapid prime minister for the entire past year.

"God forbid, this is what will happen if the national camp does not win the elections and does not form the next government," he added.

"Lapid and [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz will establish a minority government with the Joint List and strive to establish a terror state in the heart of the Land of Israel, and expel settlers. I hope that now every right-wing person understands that he must vote for the right-wing bloc and bring about the establishment of a right-wing government of the national camp. Voting for Gantz and the left-wing bloc endangers the State of Israel," Smotrich concluded.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, from Gantz's own National Unity party, countered Smotrich's claims by stating that he too opposed the idea, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has noticeably not commented yet on the announcement.

"Establishing a terror state in Judea and Samaria will endanger Israel's national security. Most of the people in Israel and their representatives will not allow this to happen," he said.

Another member of Sa'ar and Gantz's party, Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin, wrote that "Lapid's vision of founding a Palestinian state in the heart of the land is a serious mistake and an enormous danger to the state of Israel and its citizens. It is not part of this government's guidelines, and will not be part of the next government's guidelines. It simply won’t happen."

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked tweeted, "Lapid does not have public legitimacy to complicate Israel with comments that will harm the country. Lapid represents only himself, not the government. A Palestinian state is dangerous to the State of Israel."

"Lapid does not have public legitimacy to complicate Israel with comments that will harm the country. Lapid represents only himself, not the government. A Palestinian state is dangerous to the State of Israel."

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman also tweeted that "Against the background of the wave of Palestinian terrorism and Abu Mazen's scandalous statements in Berlin, all talk of establishing a Palestinian state is tantamount to surrendering to terrorism. Statements of this type on the part of the Israeli leadership help Abu Mazen and the Palestinian security mechanisms to evade their duty to fight terrorism."

What about the Arab-Israeli sector? 

Hadash-Ta'al's MKs attacked Lapid from the opposite angle.

"The country's leaders have gotten used to loving the peace process but not peace itself, speaking eloquently throughout the world and carrying out an ugly occupation at the same time," said MK Ayman Odeh, leader of Hadash-Ta'al. "The real test is on the ground. Do it – make peace," Odeh said.

he real test is on the ground. Do it – make peace."

Hadash-Taal MK Ayman Odeh

MK Ofer Cassif, also of Hadash-Ta'al, said, "The liberation of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a sovereign state in their homeland is not just an election demand, but a demand for justice and freedom.

Cassif called on Lapid to "include his commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of the basic guidelines of any government under his leadership, as well as to work to improve the situation on the ground for the sake of the Palestinians who are groaning under the burden of the occupation," Cassif said.

The Likud's party blasted Lapid as well: "After Lapid established the first Israeli-Palestinian government, now he wants to establish a Palestinian state on the border of Kfar Saba, Netanya and Ben Gurion Airport, and hand over territories from our homeland to our enemies. For years, Netanyahu managed to remove the Palestinian issue from the world agenda, and Lapid brought Abu Mazen back to the forefront in less than a year."