Justice Minister Tzippy Livni utterly failed this week when she failed to respond to Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat's charges that Israel was built on “stolen land,” said Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.
Speaking to members of his Jewish Home faction, the Jewish Home party head voiced his anger at Livni for failing to “put Erekat in his place for his lies. All she said was that 'we do not need to investigate whose historical narrative is correct, we just need to look at the future.”
Despite Livni's decision not to respond, Erekat faced derision in some parts following his claims that the Palestinian Arab population represents the (non-Arab) Biblical Canaanites who “lived in the region 5,500 years before Joshua Bin-Nun came and burned my hometown Jericho.”
Livni's failure to respond to such a blatant misrepresentation of history “is exactly the reason that Israel has been losing out in world opinion,” Bennett said. “They talk about justice and we talk about narratives.”
Bennett said that he would fill in the information Livni had missed.
“The Land of Israel has been the inheritance of the Jewish People for 3,800 years. In the same Bible that all Muslims and Christians – and of course Jews – believe in, it says that G-d gave the Land to the Jewish Nation. This is written in Hebrew and addressed to the Jews. Israel was the Jewish homeland thousands of years before there were Palestinians,” he said.
Bennett also dismissed threats by Israeli politicians that Israel's economy would suffer if it did not capitulate to demands for withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
“You are all confused,” he said. “We are stronger than these threats. We will not capitulate to these threats.”
Regarding the ongoing talks with the PA, Bennett said that one recognition deserved another.
“Recognition of the rights of Palestinians goes hand in hand with recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. If Israel cannot be secure, there will be no Palestinian state,” he added.