'I don't flip-flop on the issues'

Education Minister continues attacks on PM: 'I don't say that I'm against a Palestinian state, then say that I'm in favor of it.'

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David Rosenberg,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Jewish Home chief and Education Minister Naftali Bennett accused the Prime Minister of flip-flopping on core issues, slamming the Prime Minister and his defenders within the Likud amid an ongoing dustup between the Jewish Home and the ruling Likud party over restrictions on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

Last Thursday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented to the Security Cabinet a series of policy positions for their approval, including the construction of a replacement community for Amona evictees to be built in Samaria, along with limitations on the expansion of existing Jewish towns over the Green Line.

On Sunday, Bennett lamented what he called a “missed opportunity” with the new White House to reset the US-Israel relationship and present an Israeli position based on sovereignty over large swaths of Judea and Samaria, rather than the two-state solution.

Senior Likud officials were quick to respond, blasting Bennett’s comments and implying the Jewish Home chief was looking to score political points ahead of his own primary race.

Bennett responded Monday morning in an interview with Army Radio, lashing out at the Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu, whom he accused of adopting, then abandoning positions on core issues when convenient.

“There was a tremendous opportunity with the new American government,” said Bennett, arguing that Netanyahu should have pushed for alternatives to the two-state solution.

“But now we’re returning to the going back to the old days when we had to fight over each and every house [built in Judea and Samaria].”

The Education Minister slammed what he called the vitriolic response of Likud members to his spate with Netanyahu.

“I woke up this morning and discovered that I’m a member of the [radical left-wing] group B’Tselem. These attacks [on me] aren’t worth addressing.”

“I’m very consistent; I say what my position is before elections, during elections, and afterwards and, surprise surprise, they’re always the same positions. I don’t change my stand, say that I am against Palestinian statehood but then say I’m in favor of a Palestinian state,” said Bennett, alluding to Netanyahu’s expressed support for Palestinian statehood laid out at his 2009 Bar Ilan address.

“There was a historic opportunity to take the establishment of a Palestinian state off the agenda. We can’t expect Trump to give up the idea of Palestinian statehood if we’re continuing with the mantra of a Palestinian state.”