Former Minister of Education and Economics, Naftali Bennett held an English-language parlor meeting in the heart of Gush Etzion, on Thursday night. The event was part of his party’s outreach to native English-speakers living in Israel, ahead of the elections next week. Bennett has also spoken to communities in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.
This event was held at Hub Etzion, the first co-working space established in Judea and Samaria.
Naftali Bennett was joined at the event by fellow Yamina candidate and English-language campaign manager, Jeremy Saltan. The pair spoke passionately on behalf of their party and the future of the State of Israel.
No longer the head of his party, Bennett was clearly much more relaxed, unconstrained and willing to go off-script, holding a lively and even challenging back and forth discussion with his audience.
Bennett emphasized that whomever you vote for, don’t vote for a party that won’t pass the electoral threshold, explicitly referring to Otzma Yehudit.
He also picked apart PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent announcement regarding the prime minister’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlements after the elections — if Netanyahu can form the coalition.
Bennett pointed out that Netanyahu was careful to not say he was annexing Area C or the settlement blocs, but rather just settlements, which Bennett interpreted as Netanyahu planning to create small isolated islands of the state of Israel in the middle of much larger “Palestinian” entity — which is why it is important that Yamina be as large a party as possible, to prevent that scenario from happening.
When asked which ministries Yamina would pick in a perfect world, Naftali Bennett emphasized his desire for the finance and judicial ministries.
Bennett spoke passionately about free markets, deregulation, and education. In fact, he focused much of his time on the finance and economic challenges Israel faces.
He also took the time to applaud the Yamina party leader Ayelet Shaked’s work as the head of the justice ministry. “Ayelet has a unique quality that allows her to harness people. She puts her ego aside and is extremely effective in getting stuff done.”
Jeremy Saltan later told the audience, “This was an amazing night, it shows the importance Yamina has towards the Anglo community and we hope that the Anglo community will come out and vote in numbers for Yamina. Because again, the only party that will take care of Anglos, that will be there after the election- is us.”