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      Bennett: We Have a Rare Opportunity to Bring Change

      MK Bennett at the Conference of Presidents: There's a considerable common denominator between us and Yesh Atid.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 2/13/2013, 2:13 AM

      Bayit Yehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett denied on Tuesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had offered him the position of Education Minister in the new government, as Israeli media outlets had reported.

      Bennett, who answered questions during the annual gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said, “We’re not yet talking about jobs or positions. The coalition structure is unclear as of now, and the first question is who’s in the government and the next question is who does what.

      “Certainly, it’s a very vital job but there’s no progress yet,” he added.

      Bennett said there was a “considerable common denominator” between his party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid on things such as the economy and getting hareidim involved in Israeli life.

      “That’s what ultimately will determine my actions,” he indicated. “It’s not about politics, it’s about the direction we go in. I can’t say we agree on everything, there are some things over which we disagree, but I think it’s good news that we have so much common ground.”

      Israel has a very rare opportunity, said Bennett, to bring about an equal share in the burden of army service while not hurting the world of Torah study.

      “The Torah world is vital for Israel. Torah is the reason that we are here. We can’t give that up,” he said.

      “It’s time to stop hating,” Bennett stated. “Stop hating Arabs, hareidim, the non-religious, settlers. The new generation is fed-up with the hatred. The parties that tried to use hate have failed. Unity worked. We are a generation that grew up with cafés being blown up, so we are a more clear-sighted generation.  While we don’t necessarily see a partner for peace, we certainly don’t want more war. No one more than me hates war. But wishing a conflict away doesn’t make it go away. When we make profound mistakes again and again it’s time to take a new approach.”

      Earlier, Bennett gave a speech to the participants at the annual gathering.