Minister Naftali Bennett normally gives much needed support to Bibi Netanyahu in what has become a fight to the death with the present US Administration ( I said already in Obama's first administration that he was the biggest threat to Israel and the Jewish People since Hitler, and nothing since has caused me to change my mind other than to realise he's a similar threat to the American People and world peace).
But did Naftali Bennett really say the following:
“If the Palestinians want peace they have to do one simple thing: Recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. That’s all. But if they don’t do that, if they don’t recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, they can’t expect peace,” he told Amanpour.
For years supporters of Israel who read what arabs say to themselves in arabic (rather than in english to naive reporters) have argued that palestinian arabs don't want peace, that the only peace that Israelis will get from arabs is that of the everlasting sort, of the grave.
And here Bennett talks as if it is the arabs who need to make a choice between recognizing Israel or having peace instead of saying that the arabs refuse to make peace with Israel, and until forced by Kerry wouldn't even sit down for peace talks with Israel because their ideology does not allow for the existence of Israel. Just to get palestinian arabs to sit down at the table (not even the same table, they won't deal directly with Israel) Israel had to release 100 arab cold blooded murderers of jews.
Not for nothing do Israelis use 'Shalom' ('Peace') as a greeting. It is what Israel has always aspired to even before Independence when arabs were busy slaughtering jews, sometimes under the protective gaze of Britain. Peace is what Israel has known little of, and has had to fight for in the face of constant arab attacks.
Israel doesn't reject peace, but the arabs do, on the grounds that Israel is 'occupying their muslim land'.
There is no place for Israel in the arab mindset, no chance of peace with those who say that "Palestine from the river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean)."
What Bennett means but did not elucidate was that he unlike Begin, Rabin and Sharon who gave away much land in return for a just the illusion of peace, is a chastened Israeli one with the benefit of hindsight, one who realises that the more concessions Israel makes, the less likely peace will happen. Peace in the middle east comes at the end of a gun, and the ability to defend yourself. The smaller Israel is, the less defensible, the more arabs are tempted to give Israel the coup de grace. So giving away land for 'peace' means not that there will be less attacks, but rather that there will be more, with dead jews as a consequence.
Bennett understands that peace is not possible with arabs who hate Israel, and who only want jews dead, not as neighbours. Bennett rejects making any more concessions for a mirage, not that he rejects peace, because he doesn't.
What he rejects is the land linkage and the notion that Israel should have to pay for peace. The only side that pays for peace is the losing side, and if arabs see you as a loser there is no chance you will ever get peace.
Naftali Bennett the ex-Sayeret soldier should be careful not to ruin Israel's image whilst talking tough, in soundbites. Netanyahu would never have made such a gaff as he realizes that Israel's security depends not only on the gun but on how we explain Israel and its actions. Allowing our enemies to paint us as aggressive and against peace is a major prize that they seek that we must not hand them on a plate.
Bennett should have been doubly wary of his speech with this unsympathetic reporter, when dealing with CNN that routinely attempts to tarnish Israel's image.
Bennett should either learn from this mistake or leave the media arena to those such as Regev or Netanyahu who understand it.