“We cannot continue to pursue a bunker policy,” said Bennett, whose party expounds a platform rejecting any notion of a two-state solution. “Israel must initiate its own vision otherwise, as it appears once again, its fate will be decided by others.”
The comments were made in reference to President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Israel in May.
On Friday, Trump’s National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster said during a press conference that the president intends to “express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians.”
Bennett called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renege on his 2009 Bar Illan speech during which he endorsed the concept of a two-state solution, ostensibly under pressure from the Obama administration.
“The Bar Illan speech was from the Obama era. The speech and agreement to establish a Palestinian state brought boycotts on us, terror and a serious demographic threat and now is the time to announce its annulment,” Bennett declared.
“Two paths stand before us. We can continue the Bar Illan policy and establish a second Palestinian state, in addition to the one in Gaza,” he continued. “This messianic formula failed and led to bloodshed, political deterioration and to a demographic disaster. Alternatively, the State of Israel can outline its own vision for the future of the region: regional economic development based on initiative, preventing a second Palestinian state to the one in Gaza.”
Bennett went on to reiterate his call for imposing Israeli sovereignty over Israeli-populated areas in the West Bank, as well as stabilizing the Gaza Strip, strengthening the State of Israel’s security, intelligence and economic capacity in the region.
“The time has come to take the initiative. Our future is in our hands,” he insisted.
The Likud party responded to Bennett’s statements, accusing him of damaging the right-wing camp. “Bennett's remarks are an example of self-flagellation this time from the right. The boycotts against Israel stem from a fundamental opposition to the Jewish state and not from anything else,” the statement read.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is the one who has fought for acceptance of the Jewish state in the world as we hear from President Trump. Prime Minister Netanyahu is also leading the Nationality Bill.”
“One who sends Jewish students to prostrates themselves in mosques, who appoints a radical leftist woman to head civics studies (at the Education Ministry) and doesn't lift a finger to stop the incitement in east Jerusalem schools, should not preach us,” the statement continued.
“One who is unable to withstand leftist pressure he faces in the Education Ministry which he heads, should not preach to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who stands firm and determined against international pressure, more than any other prime minister in the last decades. Self-flagellating policies on the right never achieved a things apart from the overhaul of a right-wing government for a left-wing one.”