The Palestinians’ behavior shows they’re not worthy of a state, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said amid heckling at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Herzliya Thursday.
Following the Palestinian petition to the UN Security Council, Bennett called the European Parliament and other European legislatures’ decisions to recognize a Palestinian state “foolish,” but said Israel must recognize its own mistakes, as well.
“The willingness to give territory to our enemy is every statesman’s entry pass for international legitimacy…It’s a simple procedure: Blame Israel, apologize, say we are occupiers, that giving away land is going too slowly, and boom, you find yourself loved, embraced, at cocktail parties in various European countries with people like you. You are valued, enlightened, one of the guys; suddenly you’re called a ‘man of peace,'” Bennett said.
The Bayit Yehudi leader repeated his party’s campaign message that he won’t be silenced and won’t apologize, as the crowd shouted at him.
“I won’t give territory in the Land of Israel to Arabs,” he added. “We have to stop apologizing to the world. There was never a Palestinian state here…There was a State of Israel, 2170 years ago; we celebrate it on Hanukka. It existed 3000 years ago too.”
According to Bennett, all the Palestinians did in recent years was prove that they are not worthy of their own state, because “murder, terrorism and blood do not build a state…rockets and terrorist tunnels built under our kibbutzes after we evacuated Gaza do not build a state.
“When Israel says clearly, without stuttering and without apologizing, that we do not agree to committing suicide and building a Palestinian state on Israeli land, the world will eventually understand,” he posited.
Also Thursday, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz called the Palestinians’ actions in the UN a declaration of war, not part of a peace process.
“Israel should stop transferring the taxes it collects for the Palestinian Authority and consider dismantling it if it continues to act against Israel in the international arena,” Steinitz suggested on Israel Radio. “Establishing a Palestinian state in the current conditions will bring war, terrorism and a Hamas and Islamic State takeover of Judea and Samaria.”
Construction Minister Uri Ariel called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the “quiet construction freeze” in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“Strengthening sovereignty and construction in Judea and Samaria will clarify to the hypocrites around the world that we are here to stay,” Ariel said.
The minister added that “Judea and Samaria are part of the State of Israel and are as legitimate as Tel Aviv and Haifa, and instead of apologizing, the time has come to say so clearly.”
Former Yesha Council chairman and current Bayit Yehudi primary candidate Danny Dayan called for the government to come out against a Palestinian state.
According to Dayan, the Palestinian petition to the UN shows that the prime minister’s “Bar-Ilan Speech,” in which he expressed support for eventual Palestinian statehood, is being used to threaten Israel.
“The ‘yes, but’ tactic in dealing with Palestinian statehood went bankrupt and led to increased diplomatic pressure on Israel,” he said. “The time has come to bury the two-state idea once and for all and say simply and firmly to the world that Israel is not willing to establish a terrorist state on its borders and will not give up parts of the homeland.”
Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev said the Palestinian draft resolution is a result of Netanyahu’s lack of initiative.
“If we use the same recipe as Netanyahu, which includes disrespect and harm to Israel-US and Israel-Europe relations, the result, which we see today, is defeat for the State of Israel,” he stated.
Bar-Lev accused Netanyahu of fear-mongering rather than initiating a separation from the Palesitnians.
“The coming election is about either a binational state with Netanyahu or a Jewish and democratic state with [Labor leader Isaac] Herzog,” he added.