(December 8, 2020 / Jewish Journal)
Israeli Knesset Member Naftali Bennett has warned that approving a Palestinian state would be the “biggest mistake in Israel’s history.”
Bennett, a member of the New Right Party, made the remark during a Zionist Organization of America webinar on Dec. 2.
The recent normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, he said, showed that the Arab world has gradually understood that “the Jewish state is here to stay.” They also demonstrate that the “Palestinians first” mindset has been “proven wrong,” he added.
Furthermore, he argued, prior peace efforts with the Palestinians had failed, resulting in bloodshed.
“There is a price to pay for failed peace efforts,” he said.
Bennett condemned the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to terrorists who murder Jews and their families.
It’s “unbelievable that in the year 2020 … the Palestinian Authority, which some people in the world consider as an actual state, actually pays … monthly salaries to people who murder Jews or their families based on the amount of time that they’re sitting in jail,” said Bennett. He noted that the amount of money increases for each murder, and are especially high if the murders take place in Jerusalem.
He said that during his tenure as Defense Minister from 2019 to 2020, he took action to designate any bank that touches the P.A.’s terror payments as a terror affiliate, which he said had helped stem the spread of P.A. money to terrorists. However, the new Israeli government has since ended this policy, “so the money continues flowing,” he said.
He called for the Israeli government to pass legislation to stop banks from touching the money.
“There’s no way to defend terror money,” he said. “It’s not a matter of ideology. Just stop paying these freaking terrorists, and it will be OK.”
Bennett also said that Israel needs to continue to “build our land,” noting that as defense minister he went forward with plans to build a new Israeli neighborhood in Hebron despite “doomsday” warnings that such actions would result in a third intifada.
“These doomsday scenarios didn’t materialize,” he said. “You can’t not do the right thing because of threats of violence … otherwise you’re giving up on what’s important to you.”
This article was first published in the Jewish Journal.
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