Education Minister Naftali Bennett directly challenged Prime Minister Netanyahu today at a meeting with his Jewish Home faction to push forward with his annexation plan.
“The US is entering a new era. The State of Israel is also this week entering a new era for national security,” Bennett said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu faces a historic decision: either sovereignty or Palestine. Either sovereignty or ISIS on Route 6.”
“We call upon Prime Minister Netanyahu: don’t miss this opportunity which came only after 50 years. We will give complete backing to the Prime Minister to act with courage and determination. There is a perception that we must continue to manuever and defend, but we must initiate [policy] and stick with it.”
He recalled that in 1981, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin acted “with courage” and applied Israeli sovereignty to the Golan Heights. “Today we all understand that he (Begin) was correct. No one will take care of the security of Israel if we do not do it [ourselves]. This is the time for action, not excuses.”
The Prime Minister later responded to Naftali Bennett’s remarks with his own.
“After eight years of pressure I welcome the change in attitude in the White House,” Netanyahu said. “We are faced with great opportunities, but they require responsibility and discretion.”
Netanyahu dealt directly with the question applying sovereignty over Maale Adumim: “We are facing opportunities for the State of Israel, but they require a judgment call. This is not the time for knee-jerk reactions, [hasty] orders, and surprises. We need a responsible and prudent diplomacy. For the good of the State of Israel, and for the good of the settlements, I suggest that everyone put aside all other considerations and allow me to lead. We are entering a new era and we are strengthening our foreign relations.”