Bennett clarifies remarks calling for 'sacrificing yourself' to annex W. Bank
After making controversial comments during an event in Jerusalem marking the passing of one of Israel's main champions of settlements, Bennett seeks to clarify on social media: 'the phrase to sacrifice yourself means to work hard for the goal.'
Education Minister Naftali Bennett posted a Tweet Friday morning clarifying controversial comments he made in which he stated that “you need to sacrifice yourself in order to bring about the Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria.”
“To all those asking: ‘to sacrifice yourself’ means to work hard for the goal,” he posted in an attempt to clarify his remarks.
The Bayit Yehudi Chairman’s comments came amid a political storm surrounding the evacuation of the Amona settlement and governmental plans to demolish it this December.
Bennett was speaking during an event at the Jerusalem International Convention Center marking five years since the passing of Hanan Porat, one of the leaders of the religious Zionism who was considered one of the leaders of the Yesha settlement movement.
In what appeared to be a possible attempt to outflank Prime Minister Netanyahu by appealing to his more conservative base, Bennett told his listeners, “When it comes to the land of Israel, we need to switch from restraint to a decision. We need to highlight the dream and that dream is that Judea and Samaria will be part of the land of the sovereign State of Israel. We have to act today and be willing to sacrifice ourselves.”
Proponents of construction in the West Bank are particularly apprehensive about the evacuation of Amona, believing that such a move would constitute a dangerous precedent to other settlements built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
“We cannot continue to label the land of Israel as a tactical goal, and a Palestinian state a strategic goal. Those who frown upon the communities (settlements) in Israel have given up on the heart of the people of Israel,” Bennett continued. “I cannot ignore a (question mark) over thousands of homes in Judea and Samaria. I state here: We are taking responsibility. No more tactical solutions but, rather, strategic order.”
Bennett went on to pay tribute to Porat. “He and his people established the settlements. Now it is our turn to harness and perpetuate the settlements. Thanks to the people of Amona, we will lead a strategic solution for all the settlements. Hanan had a phrase: ‘He who wants to realize his dream, will do so with his life. Our dreams, we will realize with our lives.”