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Bennett: Likud's Weakness Led to PA 'Statehood' Success

Bayit Yehudi chairman says Netanyahu made "historic mistake" when he voiced support for PA state.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/15/2012, 10:06 PM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party chairman attacked the Likud party and its leader, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in a TV interview on Channel 2's Meet the Press.

"Likud has strayed from its path," Bennett charged. "It led to the construction freeze and the declaration of a Palestinian state. That is why I say that Netanyahu is good but not at any cost, and that he needs strong people next to him."

Bennett contended that Netanyahu made "a historic mistake" when he spoke in favor of a "Palestinian State" in his June 2009 Bar Ilan University speech, but added, "despite that, I will work with him in the next government."

Bennett, whose party is currently polling at an average of about 11 Knesset seats, although a recent poll gave it 16 seats, warned that if the party does not receive enough seats, Netanyahu will partner with Tzipi Livni's party.

"This will be a government of Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi, of Netanyahu and Livni," he explained. "We need to be inside the government to make sure that Netanyahu's promises are kept."

"There will never be peace with the Palestinians," he added. "We can all calm down and not get excited about the world and the denunciations of the construction at E1. The Palestinian issue is not the central issue in this country. Is there anyone here who still thinks that even if we give away all of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, we will receive peace? So there is no need to talk about this and we should talk about the real issues."