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Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

Bennett Walks Out on EU President: I Won’t Be Rebuked in German

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, started a small riot in the Knesset Wednesday afternoon, when he rebuked the MKs on the lack of equality which, evidently, forces people to blow up their Jewish neighbors. Not a lot has changed in the Fatherland, it appears.

“There is no alternative to peace if we want to give people an honorable life,” Schultz said, adding, “The Palestinians, too, have the right to self determination and to justice. Tell me, and I ask you if this is right, that Israelis are allowed to use 17.5 gallons of water a day, while the Palestinians only 4.25 gallons.”

One of the most celebrated studies to date on the issue of who gets more water, is the 2012 The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective, by Prof. Haim Gvirtzman of The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

The paper details the water agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, refuting any criticism against Israel for not adhering to its commitments. “Israel has not only fulfilled all of its obligations stemming from the 1995 Interim Agreement signed with the PA,” writes Prof. Gvirtzman, “but has met all water commitments requisite of a permanent status agreement as well.”

The study documents the fact that “there is almost no difference today in the per capita consumption of natural water between Israelis and Palestinians. The large difference that existed in 1967, when the administration of Judea and Samaria was handed over from Jordan to Israel, has been reduced over the last 40 years and is now negligible. As well, the per capita domestic water consumption of the Palestinians is significantly higher than the minimum human needs defined by the World Health Organization.”

And here comes the point which the EU president should probably take back to his hosts in Ramallah, “While Israel has ensured that nearly all Palestinian villages and towns are connected to running water, the Palestinians have violated their part of the agreement by refusing to build sewage treatment plants (despite available international financing). Moreover, the Palestinians have drilled hundreds of unlicensed wells and set up unauthorized connections to Israeli water supply pipelines.”

Jewish Home MKs calling Schultz's lie, moments before they stood up and left the plenum in disgust. Photo by Flash 90.

Jewish Home MKs calling Schultz’s lie, moments before they stood up and left the plenum in disgust. Photo by Flash 90.

Many Jewish Home MKs reacted with appropriate rage, and Chairman Naftali Bennett, MK Orit Struk and a few others yelled: “It’s a lie!”

Jewish Home MK Motti Yogev yelled at Schultz something about the fact that Eretz Israel was given to the nation of Israel, and was promptly removed from the plenum. He was followed by a few colleagues from his faction. MK Struk said: “When the president of the European Parliament spits on you, you can’t keep quiet, wipe your face and say it was the rain.”

Bennett wrote in his Facebook page a short while later: “I will not accept a lying sermon against the nation of Israel in the Israeli Knesset, certainly not in German.”

Naturally, the left condemned mightily the Jewish Home reaction, which, as Minister Uri Orbach put it, was a quiet protest. The same left kept mum only two weeks ago, when Arab MK Ahmad Tibbi screamed uncontrollably at Canadian PM Stephen Harper.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was critical of Schultz’s speech, suggesting it reflected the selective hearing which has become rampant in many European circles. He added that the figures Schultz had picked up in Ramallah about the water consumption gaps are simply wrong.

Bennett Threatens to Quit Coalition over Framework

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett started threatened Monday to pull his party out of the government coalition if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accepts an American  “framework” that is inconsistent with the party’s principles.

He also made it clear at the annual Jerusalem Conference that he will back the Prime Minister if there is no contraction between the framework and the Jewish Home’s principles.

Bennett almost found his way out of the coalition when his comments against the idea of Jews living in a Palestinian Authority state were directed so personally at the Prime Minister that he reportedly was ready to fire Bennett as Minister of Economy.

Bennett half-apologized to resolve the crisis.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who sticks closer to ideological red lines without going off the board completely, told the conference, “Our Jewish Home party will not sign any document that surrenders Jewish land.”

The Jewish Home is on record as standing up for all of Judea and Samaria as being part of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on record as saying that the area is “occupied,” and the framework is not likely to sit well with the Jewish Home party.

However, Kerry has made it clear it is not a document that must be accepted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority but is one that will serve as a guideline for both sides to continue to wriggle and wangle.

Bennett’s Jewish Home and Labor Up in the Polls

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

A poll by the Knesset Channel released on Thursday confirms the trend of increased popularity for the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, and lesser support for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

Unlike recent polls, strength in the Likud-Beiteinu party dropped a bit. Labor and Meretz gained backing at the expense of Yesh Atid, and the other parties drew more or less the same support as in recent polls.

If elections were held today, according to the new survey, Likud-Beiteinu would win 30 seats in the Knesset, one less than it has today. Labor, which recently elected Yitzchak Herzog to replace Shelly Yachimovich as its leader, would replace Yesh Lapid as the second largest party, with 19 Knesset Members.

Third in line is Jewish Home with 17 seats, five more than it holds today.

Yesh Atid would drop from its current 19 to only 12. Meretz, as in previous polls, would be the biggest winner in terms of percentage gains. The survey gives the left-wing party 12 seats, double its current strength.

Shas would drop to seven seats, the Ashkenazi Haredi United Torah Judaism would hold its own at seven, and Tzipi Livni’s party continues to be in the dumps, this time with four projected MKS. The remainder of the Knesset seats would be occupied by Arab parties.

Humiliating Bennett, Bibi Ends Up Stressing Commitment to 2-State Deal

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Naftali Bennett blinked first. In case you’re not sick and tired yet of this fictitious melodrama, what started with Prime Minister Netanyahu suggesting that the 100,000 or so Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria outside the “cluster of settlements” (this so sounds like the “pale of settlement,” where the Jews were ghettoized under Czarist rule in the 1800s) could stay where they are, with a Palestinian citizenship.

It was a cute idea, intended to embarrass the Palestinians by showing them up as racists and antisemites, because they obviously were going to go bananas over the proposal. But then Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett decided to take a ride on this duck and condemned the idea and the guy who announced it, his superior in the government, aka the prime minister.

So Bibi, or, more accurately, Sara Netanyahu, decided that the ploy that was going to give Mahmoud Abbas et al a bloody nose could just as well be used on Bennett, who has remained in the Netanyahus’ dog house for almost a decade now.

In an injured tone, the Prime Minister’s office demanded that Bennett apologize, or else be fired “even before next Sunday’s cabinet meeting.”

Nobody thought this was going to happen. Everybody knew the next scene would be a Bennett apology, maybe not heartfelt, maybe just the tacit kind, but Bennett was going to bow, kiss the ring, take a fruit from the bowl on the conference table and walk away.

Still, with so many participants in these government-produced dramas, there was always a chance for a mishap, leading to a full blown crisis – it was worth watching. But it ended in the predictable fashion: Bennett said he never intended to hurt the prime minister’s feelings, it wasn’t personal, it was only ideological differences.

These two men and their wives hate each other so much, that by now no one remembers any more the original story, with the settlers and the Palestinian citizenship, and the country is focused on the bloody nose of the Minister of the Economy and of Religious services, and of Jerusalem and Hasbara (which is Israeli for propaganda). Honest, Bennett is really the minister of all those ministries.

But while Sara Netanyahu is in charge of never forgetting and never forgiving, Gilat Bennett told her husband, according to Maariv, “You be the responsible adult and take care of this thing.” It was a couple of hours before Bennett read his apology before a conference of Religious Zionist executives on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Each side claimed victory after the fact, and both used the adult versus child metaphor. Netanyahu proved that he’s in charge, but Bennett also delivered a point, with a huge wink at Bibi’s own right wing, inside his Likud party.

Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin said the fist fight between Bibi and Bennett was “ridiculous,” adding, “the question is not who insulted whom, and who has to apologize, but the negotiations. [top negotiator Tzipi] Livni has already said there would be a discussion of Jerusalem, and I suggest that Netanyahu, instead of fighting with Bennett and create a smokescreen, come out and clear the smoke.”

Rabbi Chaim Navon, who runs one of the more active and original Facebook pages on Jewish issues, pointed to the fact that Netanyahu’s circle was saying the entire Palestinian citizenship idea was only intended to show up the Palestinians for their stubbornness.

“How very cleaver,” Rabbi Navon quipped. “We bring up yet another concession, the Palestinians refuse, for ten minutes we’re getting slapped on the back, but then the world gets used to the idea and makes it the self-evident foundation of the next phase of negotiations. Did the Netanyahu concession in his Bar-Ilan speech improve our international situation? It did the opposite.”

Bennett Apologizes to Netanyahu

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett personally apologized to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night, dousing the flames of the political fire that threatened to spread out of control.

The differences between the two over a future Palestinian Authority state were headlined on Tuesday when Bennett, referring to the Prime Minister‘s earlier statement that Jews could live in a future PA state, “Do you know why… Jews cannot live under Palestinian rule? Do you know why? Why Palestinians can’t rule over Jews? “Because they will kill them. And do you know how I know this? Because it has already happened.”

That was too much for Netanyahu, who was furious at Bennett for scoring political points while he was setting up Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to look foolish for his previous statements that no Jews would be allowed under PA rule.

Netanyahu told Bennett to get back on course with him or pay a heavy political price.

Several hours later, Bennett told a press conference, “If the prime minister was hurt, I absolutely sorry about it.”

He tried to play down the episode. ”There are those who are trying to turn a substantive conversation about the future of our land and our security into a personal attack that never was. I respect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his leadership under difficult circumstances, support him when necessary and criticize him as necessary, and that’s my obligation,” Bennett added.

Bennett: Jews Would Only Die and not Live in Palestinian State

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Jews would live in a Palestinian Authority state for a very short time because they would end up being killed, Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett warned Tuesday night in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies Conference in Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also addressed the conference, as did Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas through a video appearance.

Netanyahu in effect reminded U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of his own words – that any framework presented in the peace talks would be an American plan that does not commit Israel.

Most media, looking for something new in every word that is uttered by the players in the shaggy peace dog saga, try to turn every word into some new development. The major development is that another day has gone by before Kerry tries to save face and extend the ordeal for another round.

Netanyahu’s statement on Israel’s not having to accept the framework already has been billed as if he is playing hard ball, but the truth is that he simply stated what Kerry said weeks ago. Netanyahu emphasized the point just to make sure that no one forgets.

He again insisted that a Palestinian Authority state must be demilitarized, which is another way of telling Abbas to go jump in the Jordan.

Bennett, in his vision of the future of Judea and Samaria, provided the answer of what would happen if the Palestinian Authority were left to its own devices, especially if Jews were to try to live in a Palestinian state.

“Why Palestinians can’t rule over Jews?” he asked rhetorically. “Because they will kill them. And do you know how I know this? Because it has already happened” in the Arab pogrom against Hevron Jews in 1929 and the lynching of two Israeli soldiers in 2000 after they took a wrong turn and ended up in Ramallah.

Bennett proposed Israel’s annexing areas of Judea and Samaria where 400,000 Jews live. He said only 70,000 Arabs live in the same area, a number which is exaggeratedly low. In any case, Bennett says they could be given Israeli citizenship without any fear of a demographic threat to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

In his video speech, Abbas offered too little too late, withdrawing from his previous position that he would give Jews three months to leave a Palestinian state once it is agreed on.

Now he is willing to allow an Israeli presence there for three years, which is like telling Netanyahu to jump into the Jordan.

If both of them meet there, Kerry undoubtedly will bring them a life raft.

However, he does not understand that Abbas and Netanyahu know how to swim better and faster than the Secretary of State can talk.

Netanyahu’s ‘Jews in Palestine’ Ploy Traps Bennett, Abbas and AP

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s reported “Let some Jewish settlers remain in Palestine” statement has made Mahmoud Abbas look like fool, Naftali Bennett look like a right-wing nut, and the media look almost as ignorant as they are – and all of this with one sentence.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will insist that Jewish settlers in the West Bank have a right to remain under Palestinian rule in any future peace deal, a government official was quoted as saying on Sunday,” Reuters told millions of readers around the world.

The very thought of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country inside Israel’s current borders, let alone hinting that Jews living in Judea and Samaria can fulfill their Zionist dream by living in a Palestinian state, was TNT for Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party and arguably one of the most positive images in Israeli politics.

Part of Bennett’s success is that while he is gung-ho on Jews in Judea and Samaria, he is a resident of Ra’anana, part of metropolitan Tel Aviv. Moreover, he is not from the “think in the box” folks of Yesha, otherwise known as the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, which once upon a time included the word “Gaza” in its moniker.

Yesha miserably failed nationalists during the years of Oslo, when it raised the Israeli flag over Beit El as the capital of the country, with Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva being considered settlements that deserve a few crumbs to keep them in Greater Israel, the term nationalists try to use to counter the dreaded “Occupied Territories.”

Bennett blew it Sunday night.

He sounded like one of the Yesha blowhards from years ago when he angrily responded, “”Whoever imagines that Jews in the land of Israel can live under Palestinian rule undermines our living in Tel Aviv.”

Saeb Erekat, the senior Palestinian Authority negotiator who has quit or has threatened to quit the position more times than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Israel, also rejected Netanyahu’s idea. “Anyone who says he wants to keep settlers in the Palestinian state is actually saying that he doesn’t want a Palestinian state,” Erekat said.

“No settler will be allowed to stay in the Palestinian state, not even a single one, because settlements are illegal and the presence of the settlers on the occupied lands is illegal,” he added.

And the Associated Press, in its continuing ineptly objective ignorance of trying to explain the Middle East to the world, declared for history, “Some Israeli political commentators suggested the leak [Netanyahu’s reported statement] was aimed at heading off settler opposition to a framework deal, or as guidelines for a final peace agreement that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to formulate.”

Boy, are they ever off the track!

Netanyahu should take off for a well-deserved vacation and enjoy his political checkmate. During one election campaign, Netanyahu once played chess with Natan Sharansky, an accomplished chess master. Former Soviet Union dissidents have to be great at chess. That is one of the ways they survived Siberia and came out sane.

Netanyahu won a stalemate, an amazing achievement.

For all of Mahmoud Abba’s brilliant political maneuvering around the world to win universal support to screw the Jews, he is no match for Netanyahu.

The Prime Minister already has cornered Abbas pitifully by goading him to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. The theory is that once the Palestinian Authority does so, it has no chance of flooding Israel with 5 million foreign Arabs under the lie of the “right of return,” a bastardization of the Israeli term that should go down as one of the greatest Double Speaks since George Orwell’s” 1984.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/netanyahus-jews-in-palestine-ploy-traps-bennett-abbas-and-ap/2014/01/27/

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