Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett took credit Monday for bringing about the granting of full university status to Ariel University Center. The announcement that the institution would finally receive recognition as a university, as well as several other Likud overtures to the nationalist base, are the result of the fact that the ruling party feels threatened by Bayit Yehudi, according to Bennett's logic.
"Never has a party that has not yet entered the Knesset had so many achievements," Bennett said tongue-in-cheek in a meeting with students at Ben Gurion University. "We brought about construction in Jerusalem, today Gideon Saar canceled the Palestinian state and Ariel University was approved today," he said. "It is fascinating to imagine what we will be able to do with 15 Knesset seats."
Bennett was referring to statement by Education Minister Saar, that the "two-state solution" was never part of Likud's platform.
Sa'ar, for his part, took credit for the approval of Ariel's upgraded status. "In this government's term," he said, "the giant move, which I led, was completed – despite countless objections that were not based on relevant arguments."
Coalition Chairman MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) expressed his pleasure with the decision to upgrade the learning institution. "I salute the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education for completing a historic turnaround and the establishment of a new university in Israel, in Ariel, the capital of Samaria."
"The decision is completely justified as far in terms of the academic level of the Center and an important step that will take the higher education system in Israel forward, and at the same time it is a clear message that Ariel will remain an inseparable part of Israel forever and ever."
Yisrael Beyteinu chairman, Minister Avigdor Lieberman, also took credit for the development. "This is another important promise made by Yisrael Beytenu that is being implemented, and it will be an important contribution to strengthening the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria, and to strengthening higher education and the welfare of students."