With Bayit Yehudi breathing down his neck, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed in an interview published Friday not to tear down any Jewish communities in the next four years.
"Supporters of the settlement enterprise and of the Land of Israel could make a historic and fatal mistake, as they did in '92 and '99," he warned in the interview for Maariv. "They split the votes and weakened Likud, and the result was the rise of a leftist government."
"The question is not whether I win the election, but whether I can hold my hands on the steering wheel in a stable way. When there are too many hands on the wheel, the vehicle overturns.
The interviewer asked him if he can promise not to uproot any communities in the next four years.
"Yes, true," answered Netanyahu. "The days of bulldozers uprooting Jews are behind us, not in front of us. I am not in the habit of handing out concessions. Our record proves this. We never uprooted any community, we strengthened the settlement enterprise, and we established the first university in decades at Ariel. We did this while navigating the turbulent current of international events, and of course, my ability to navigate is directly connected to the party that I have behind me. The smaller it is, the less ability I have to fend off pressure."
"No one needs to lecture me on love for the Land of Israel or commitment to the Zionist endeavor or the settlement enterprise," he added.