Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett reopened a long-forgotten front in Israel's campaign for international legitimization Sunday, when he called on the world to officially recognize the Golan, captured from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967, as Israeli territory.
"I want to challenge the entire world," said Bennett at the 15th annual Herzliya Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya. "I want to give the international community an opportunity to demonstrate their ethics. Recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights."
Bennett at the Herzliya Conference on Sunday. (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Bennett continued to call for the expansion of Jewish presence in the area to 100,000 in the next five years. Some 20,000 Jews reside in the Golan Heights today.
"In 1981 the Golan Heights law was passed, applying Israeli law in the area," said Bennett. "The world in that time shouted and sharply criticized Israel, and no country has recognized the Golan as part of the State of Israel up to this day, but that didn't stop Begin who understood that the Golan Heights is ours and that we can't give land to our enemies."
The Bayit Yehudi leader then compared the Golan Heights to the West Bank where he said he "understood" the disagreements between Israel and the rest of the world.
"I understand that we agree to disagree there. It's obvious to me that there is a disagreement there; the world is still trying to promote fantastical plans. But let's put that aside. Unfortunately, the world isn't implementing any plan for Judea and Samaria, but for the Golan? Prohibiting agricultural products from the Golan Heights? What's the logic?
"Who do they want us to give the Golan to? To Assad? Today, it's clear that if we listened to the world we would give up the Golan and ISIS would be swimming in the Sea of Galilee. Enough with the hypocrisy."