Bennett on Criticism from US: We Will Do What's Good For Israel
Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett commented Wednesday morning on reports that the White House is deeply concerned about growing support for his party, which represents very nationalist interests, and is worried about the potential sway he may have in dealing with issues such as construction in Judea and Samaria and negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
"We will listen to the Americans, but we will do what is good for Israel," Bennett wrote on his Facebook page, arguing that Israel must first and foremost do everything in its power to make sure the country is safe before taking into account how the international community may react.
Bennett wrote that the United States is an important ally of Israel, but added, "Israeli citizens must first of all think about the Israeli interest - a secure Israeli state. A State of Israel without terrorist attacks in its cities. A State of Israel not flooded by Palestinian refugees."
He said that when Israel gave central cities in Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians in 1994, encouraged by the United States, "We took the first wave of bombers in Israeli cities: In Tel Aviv, in the Beit Lid junction and in the rest of the country," referring to terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad which claimed the lives of dozens of Israelis.
"When, under American pressure, we held talks at Camp David between (Ehud) Barak and (Yassar) Arafat, the second intifada began immediately and over 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Yes, a thousand Jews were murdered here. It was hell."
"When we gave Gaza to the Palestinians, and under U.S. pressure we also gave up the Philadelphi crossing, in return we got thousands of rockets on southern Israel - until this very day."
Bennett added that Israel should respect the United States, but "above all" the country has to protect it's own interests and must do what is necessary to ensure security within the state. "A weak Israel, under a barrage of missiles and attacks, is not in America's interests either," added Bennett.