Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir / TPS
Bayit Yehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett

by Andrew Friedman

Education Minister Naftali Bennett has warned the international community, including diplomats, politicians, not to allow the immediate threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) to blind them to the long-range threat posed by Iran.

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In an English-language video published Thursday, Bennett excoriated Iran for “violating the human rights of its own citizens” by executing homosexuals, jailing reporters without cause and requiring women to obtain permission to travel, work or drive.

Bennett also outlined Tehran’s support for international terrorism as well as the country’s growing military strength, including plans to build a nuclear weapon.

Asked whether Bennett feels the international community is listening to Israel’s concerns about the Iranian threat – Bennett’s former boss, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been warning about the issue from every available podium for nearly two decades – a spokesperson for the minister told TPS that he feels the message is, in fact, beginning to make waves overseas.

“A good illustration is [Bennett’s] op-ed column in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. The fact they were willing to publish it shows that they are listening. I can also say that there are many politicians, diplomats, journalists and others who really are prepared to listen, even if they don’t always agree with us,” he said.

The spokesman added that more and more, the international community is beginning to open up to the notion that while ISIS is a difficult tactical threat right now, the answer is not to give Iran additional tools to fight ISIS now as this would serve Iran’s ultimate goal of building a Shi’ite corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean Coast.

“This corridor is an Iranian dream,” said Bennett in the video. “It is a highway to transfer weapons. It is a highway to transfer extremism. It will bring Iranian aircraft to striking range from Europe. It will bring Iranian ships and submarines to the Mediterranean.

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