Bennett strikes back after Netanyahu insult: ‘The time has come for new leadership’

“Netanyahu’s personal attacks do not hurt me, but his personal considerations hurt us all,” said Naftali Bennett.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Member of Knesset Naftali Bennett, head of the Yemina party, responded Saturday night to a recently released recording in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to Bennett as a “little dog.”

“Netanyahu’s personal attacks do not hurt me, but his personal considerations hurt us all,” Bennett tweeted.

Bennett said that he submitted a detailed action plan in March for combating the coronavirus while minimizing the damage to citizens’ livelihoods.

He claimed that Netanyahu chose not to implement his plan “solely for irrelevant personal and political considerations.”

“Had the courage to act for the sake of the citizens of Israel outweighed his fear of my success, he would probably have avoided the enormous economic, health, and mental suffering of millions of Israeli citizens.

“The time has come for new leadership in Israel,” Bennett said.

Bennett’s remarks came after Channel 13 released a recording Saturday night of a February 2018 phone conversation between Netanyahu and his former media adviser, Nir Hefetz.

“By the way, Bennett came out a real zero,” Hefetz said in the recording.

“Yes, well, he’s a little dog,” said Netanyahu.

Hefetz told Netanyahu that Bennett sent him a message, saying, “Listen, we cut you a big break. Don’t start with us. We know how to fight too.”

“So what?” responded Netanyahu.

“Okay, he’s a fool. You know what? He’s a fool,” Hefetz said, laughing.

Netanyahu agreed.

A poll conducted by Channel 12 last month showed Bennett’s Yemina party emerging as a significant rival to Netanyahu’s Likud.

The poll showed the Likud dropping to 26 Knesset seats from the 36 that it won in the March election.

Support for Yemina, on the other hand, rose tremendously from 6 seats in March to 23 seats in the October poll, putting it within striking distance of the Likud.

Bennett has been a consistent critic of the Netanyahu administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.