Naftali Bennett has been a zealous defender of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, a position that, as I mentioned earlier, has made him many enemies, including his old boss, Netanyahu. I posed to him the idea that the reason the prime minister has been talking about the two-state solution has nothing to do with his commitment to Jewish settlements and everything to do with his acute concern with Iran’s nuclear program.
Simply put, Netanyahu is not going to allow a few thousand settlers to cause Israel to lose favor with the current White House, so that when the time comes to attack the Iranian nuclear plants, Israel would not be standing alone.
“If the time comes to choose between American support and some acquiescence in the area of removing some settlements – what would be your choice?”
“I don’t buy this question,” Bennett responds quickly. “I reject the equation that we have to give up parts of Israel in order to buy quiet. If we follow that path, in twenty years we’ll have nothing left in Israel. It’s not a logical course of action.”
“We need to do what’s necessary for a strong Israel,” he urges. “I assert that handing over more land to our enemies would make Israel a feeble and miserable place. It would bring home the bloodshed and strife between us and the Arabs, just like what’s going on in Gaza—a never ending war—while we have peace and quiet today in Judea and Samaria.”
He promises: “I’ll do everything in my power to reverse the mistaken policies of establishing a Palestinian state within the Land of Israel.”
Finally, is he a career politician, or is he just planning to do this for a few years and do other things in the future?
“As long as I can serve my country, I’ll continue doing it,” he says. “As long as I feel that I’m making a positive impact on the Jewish nation, I’ll do everything in my ability to contribute.”
What’s his vision for the Jewish Home party?
“In the upcoming elections, we want to be the biggest partner for Netanyahu in his next government. It’s a very interesting election, because the next prime minister has already been determined, it’s going to be Netanyahu. The question remains, is it going to be a left-wing coalition of Tzipi Livni, Amir Peretz and Amram Mitzna and Netanyahu – or Jewish Home and Netanyahu. That’s the biggest question in this election, and I’m determined to become the biggest and most influential coalition partner.”