An Hour with Naftali Bennett: Is the Right-Wing Newcomer the New Face of Israel?

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image: Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, poses for a portrait at his office in the central Israel city of Petah Tikva, Jan. 10, 2013.
Oded Balilty / AP for TIME

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, poses for a portrait at his office in the central Israel city of Petah Tikva, Jan. 10, 2013.

Is anyone else doing this?

Nothing to this extent. Everyone has posts, but usually it’s a press release. And here’s what I write here: ‘Our Druze brothers, you have a home.’  And I write, ‘We all served and fought together with the Druze, and always on Remembrance Day, and God forbid, if a Druze fighter died, we remember him. But afterwards we forget. And after they’re released from the IDF they find themselves with problems Jews don’t have. One is big difficulties building houses because of bureaucratic reasons. And the different one is a big problem of employment, for various reasons. You should know, my Druze brothers, I’m going to fight for you, and all the people on my list. All the people on my list are going to fight of us. It’s in our bones. Just like you fight for all of us.  It’s not enough that we fought together in the military, we have to be side by side in civilian life. And just one more thing: Just know that I represent most people in Israel, and we love you.’

Another way to see your campaign is a fulfillment of the national religious aspiration for leadership here, right?

Leadership and bridging. Leadership and becoming a bridge in society. We’re the only folks who learn Torah and serve in the army, so we’re the only ones to can refer to the haredim as brothers and the secular as brothers and understand. Look at my life. I grew up in a Yeshiva high school, learning Torah, then I served in an elite unit, serving as a platoon commander, a company commander. I had 80 soldiers, of which six or seven were [religious]  and then I ran a high tech with 130 employees, only about ten were. I married Gilat who comes from a  non-religious house, I spend every second or third week at her parents’ home which is non-religious, so I think we’re the perfect bridge to bring down barriers and connect Israel together. I think of all things this is one of the most exciting aspects and one of the reasons people are joining us: they wanted togetherness.

MORE: TIME’s Interview with Ehud Barak: The Transcript

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3 comments
smehgol
smehgol

Since Imperial Rome, it has happened again and again. Jews enraged their neighbors and repeatedly suffered disastrous pogroms. Excesses of Weimar Germany's monied Jewish minority led to the most recent which Israel promotes, actually advertises, as justification for its apartheid malevolence. “Never again” is lost on Netanyahu's Israel. Blind to history, its paranoid pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast ensures “again” on a far grander scale. Abandoning and aggressively isolating the Jewish state could force it abandon its grandiose aspirations and thereby avert its destruction. There is no greater or kinder support that America could render to both the Mideast and its “inseparable Mideast ally.”

phillysteve
phillysteve

Suggesting that "Weimar Germany's monied Jewish minority" was responsible for the Holocaust is too outrageous and ignorant to take seriously! That's like saying that slavery was a function of black Africans' lack of armed resistance or that the 9/11 attacks resulted from America's "persecution of Muslims," or...better yet...from a conspiracyvbetween the CIA & Israel's Mossad.

And speaking of the Holocaust, Goebbels would have been proud of your thinking smehgol!

Thinker.2
Thinker.2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Opportunistic Land Thieves.