Economy Minister Naftali Bennett slammed threats of a potential economic boycott, branding it as another one in a string of excuses used over the past decades to justify the desires to reach a two-state solution and divide post-1967 Israel.
Speaking at the Habayit Hayehudi
party faction meeting, a clearly agitated Bennett said that far from being in Israel's economic benefit, "Israel's economy will be decimated by a Palestinian state," should one ever be formed.
To his visual aid, Bennett came armed with a map of Israel
– West Bank included – in which he portrayed Judea and Samaria as a mountainous shield protecting central Israel from West Bank Palestinians.
Pointing to the map, Bennett said: "Copy paste what happened in Sderot to the rest of Israel. How will Israel's economy look if a rocket will fall in Shenkar Street in central Herzliya? What if once a year a plane will crash at Ben Gurion Airport?"
Pointing to his second visual aid, a graph showing the correlation between peace negotiations and growth of Israeli economy, Bennett made the claim that peace talks, and their ensuing political fallout, have a negative effect on Israel's growth, the largest alleged drop being registered after former prime minister Ehud Barak's
Camp David talks with Yasser Arafet.
"Israel belongs to the Jewish people for thousands of years, that's a fact. But now I am talking about economy.
"For over 20 years there has been a determination to divide the country, only the excuse has changed. Once they said it was for peace… then (Livni said) for appeasing the world, then for demographics and now economy."
"Will we divide Jerusalem because of the economy? Will we give up the Galilee? Or will we hand over the Negev because of international pressure on our treatment of the Bedouins."
Moran Azulay contributed to this report