Millions around the world watched the CNN interview featuring Economic Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) during which Bennett defended Israel's right to build in Judea and Samaria earlier this week.
CNN international affairs reporter Christiane Amanpour had used the term “occupied West Bank” in a question during the interview. In response, Bennett held up a coin which, he pointed out, was “used by Jews 2,000 years ago in the state of Israel," emphasizing that "one cannot 'occupy' his own home."
Leftist organizations have not only attacked Bennett's rhetoric, but also his use of the coin itself. They argue that Bennett's use of the coin violates Israeli law with regard to antiquities, which have very specific legal requirements regarding when and how relics can be used. One of them is a rule that antiquities must remain within Israel's borders - but only if they are state-owned.
Bennett's representatives released a sarcastic response Wednesday. "The coin is currently making its way back from its Zionist mission to tens of millions of American Jews, as a symbol of peace. Next time, the Minister's office will announce that the coin is traveling abroad."
In a swipe at Bennett's left-wing critics, it continued, "By the way, the coin was bought legally, in an Israeli antique store. Which just proves true the aphorism: 'there are two sides to every coin.'"
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Bennett's office stated, "the Minister has already done a good thing: he has reminded the Left that this is our land, and if the price is taking an antique coin out of Israel's borders and returning it - it's worth it."