Bennett: Have We No Red Lines?
Chairman of the Jewish Home party, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, called upon the Prime Minister to stop what he called the "steady deterioration" in Israel's status and shelve the proposal to release hundreds of terrorists in exchange for continued diplomatic negotiations.
"It's time to draw a red line," Bennett said on Channel 2. "The State of Israel – even before the Netanyahu era – had been steadily deteriorating. First it freed one terrorist for one soldier, then a hundred terrorists in exchange for one soldier, and now hundreds of murderers – for what?"
Minister Bennett stressed: "We have to draw the line. I can see how, over time, we are humiliating ourselves. They are talking about releasing the murderers of three soldiers in Wadi Ara on the Night of the Pitchforks (a lethal terrorist attack on a military base in 1992). That means that when we go shopping in the supermarket in Hadera, there will be a terrorist there who murdered three soldiers in basic training with pitchforks and axes, in their sleep."
The Chairman of the Jewish Home made it clear he does not want to lead the Knesset to new elections. "We feel good inside the government, we are doing a good job,” he said, “but someone has draw a red line to stop that terrible decline. Who is the prime minister here? Netanyahu or Mahmoud Abbas?"
"The ball is in the prime minister's court,” Bennett argued. “He can go to the Palestinians and tell them 'no more,' no releasing murderers. Does Israel have red lines or is everything up for continued negotiations? What did the nine months [of negotiations] bring us? More and more murderers.
"What single step did the Palestinians take to meet us halfway? Did they stop the incitement? Did they stop transferring funds to Gaza? Netanyahu is a responsible man and I truly appreciate it. His success is the success of the State of Israel. The problem started before him but he continued the terrible deterioration. No country dares to release terrorists.
''The world despises a country that releases the murderers of children,” said the Minister of Economy, who added that [Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi] Livni was given nine months to negotiate and all she did was shame Israel."