Naftali Bennett to incoming gov't: Leftists should not be made to feel unwelcome

In a statement on his Twitter, the former prime minister stressed the importance of respect and of serving the entire Israeli public, not just one sector.

 Former prime minister Naftali Bennett adresses the Israeli parliament during a "40 signatures debate" in the plenum hall of the Israeli parliament, on June 13, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
Former prime minister Naftali Bennett adresses the Israeli parliament during a "40 signatures debate" in the plenum hall of the Israeli parliament, on June 13, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett took to his social media on Friday, urging Israelis on all sides of the political spectrum to respect both each other and the results of the elections.

“The results of the elections are clear,” he wrote on Twitter. “We must respect the results and pray for the success of the government, its leaders, ministers and advisors. Their success is our success.”

Continuing, he turned his attention to the Center-Left bloc, which received just 56 seats, including the five Hadash-Ta’al mandates, and reminded them that “these results are not the end of the country.”

“The talks of relocations, etc. are out of place. As are statements of ‘I will not send my children to combat service.’ Service in the IDF must not depend on the identity of the government.”

Recounting his experiences in the Second Lebanon War to prove his point, Bennett stressed that he fought alongside soldiers from across the political spectrum, even those who were morally opposed to the war.

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on July 31, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/POOL) Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on July 31, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/POOL)

“This country is all of ours and we have no other country,” he wrote. “I hope and believe that the ministers will understand that they are working for the entire Israeli public and not for a particular sector. In the end, we all have to live here together.”

'In the end, we all have to live here together'

Addressing Israel's right-wing politicians, Bennett asked them to respect the losing side, saying that “there is no need to trample or run anyone over.”

“The right-wing bloc certainly has the mandate to implement right-wing policies, but no one should be made to feel that they are unwelcome.

“Leftists also serve in combat units,” he continued, “and many, many of them gave their lives for our homeland. Leftists also get up every morning to work, pay their taxes and give their share to the existence of our country. They are not traitors or enemies, and this discourse must stop immediately,”

“People on the left love this country just as much as people on the right, it’s just that they hold different opinions about what the right direction is. In the end, we all have to live here together,” said the previous prime minister, whose broad government included Labor, Meretz and the United Arab List.

A look back on his own accomplishments

Bennett ended his statement with a comment on his own term as prime minister, which lasted for a little over a year, saying that “a year and a half ago I inherited a severe economic crisis, mass unemployment, a South burning with rockets and incendiary balloons, COVID-19 waves, and a country without a budget. I handed back a country in economic prosperity, with a strong budget, and the quietest South in 20 years.

“At the beginning of [the] week, I will resign from the government because my right of veto is no longer needed,” he said. “I will continue to be a soldier of the people of Israel. I will work for our youth, for our security and above all – our ability to live together.”