Bennett chides Netanyahu for not rejecting two-state solution

Israel’s education minister and head of the Jewish Home party criticized Netanyahu for not outright rejecting a two-state solution. 

Education Minister Naftali Bennett chided Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night for not retracting support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Bennett, who chairs the coalition’s Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, which unequivocally rejects the two-state solution, referred to Netanyahu’s 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University in which, apparently under massive pressure from former US President Barack Obama, he endorsed a two-state solution.

Netanyahu’s support for a two-state solution eight years ago “brought about boycotts, terrorism and a serious demographic threat” to Israel, Bennett said, adding that such an approach is “a failed messianic formula that has led to bloodshed, political deterioration and a demographic disaster.”

Bennett’s remarks came Friday as General H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, announced that the US president “will express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians” during his upcoming visit to Israel.

Instead, Bennett called for Israel to push for “regional economic development based on entrepreneurship, the prevention of a second Palestinian state in addition to that in Gaza, the application of sovereignty over the Israeli territories in Judea and Samaria, stabilizing the Gaza Strip and strengthening the State of Israel as a security, intelligence and economic anchor in the region.”

In response, Netanyahu’s Likud party accused the Bayit Yehudi leader of “surreal self-flagellation,” insisting that Netanyahu was “standing resolutely and forcefully against all international pressures, more than any other prime minister in recent decades.”

Recently, Bennett attacked the coalition for at least temporarily restricting construction in Judea and Samaria as a gesture to the Trump administration.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News