'We're the real right-wing of Israel - not the Likud'

New Right chief Naftali Bennett says his party will ensure next Likud government takes a hawkish stance on territory and terrorist releases.

Yoni Kempinski,

Bennett at pre-election conference
Bennett at pre-election conference
Arutz Sheva Staff

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (New Right) blasted the ruling Likud party Tuesday night, accusing the Likud of permitting the judiciary to seize control of the functions of the Israeli government.

Bennett, who broke away from the Jewish Home party he headed until last December to form the New Right, called his faction the “real right-wing of Israel”, touting its hawkish positions on territorial issues, the release of terrorists, and its advocacy for judicial reform.

Speaking at the joint Arutz Sheva – National Council of Young Israel pre-election conference Tuesday night, Bennett alluded to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s (New Right) efforts over the last term to curtail the Supreme Court’s use of judicial review and to restore the balance between the branches of government.

The New Right “is the real right-wing of Israel,” said Bennett, “in the sense that we’re very clear about everything. We will never give up one centimeter of Land of the State of Israel, period. We oppose releasing terrorists, we are very strong on judicial conservatism. After 40 years of the Likud rein, which allowed the judicial system to… run the country and government, our thesis is very simple: the government needs to govern and the judges need to judge.”

Bennett also ripped the Likud over its 1997 Hebron Protocol Agreement, surrendering most of the city to the Palestinian Authority, and the 2005 Gaza Disengagement plan.

“The Likud gave up land in Israel in, Hevron, in the [Gaza] Disengagement – it was the Likud. It was the Likud who recognized the demand for a Palestinian state in the Bar-Ilan speech. It was the Likud that released over a thousand murderers in the Shalit deal.”

“We’re the real right, the real McCoy.”

Turning to Israel Resilience chairman and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Bennett chided Gantz’s attempts to portray himself – and his party – as centrist.

“He’s a mensch, loves Israel no less then I, but he’s a left-wing Zionist. Which is okay. But he’s left-wing and is sort of trying to pretend he’s not, which is pathetic. I believe that one should say what he believes in and one should do what he says. [Israel Resilience] is sort of a mish-mash.”

“Just give me an answer: are you going to give up the Land of Israel or not? Are you going to release terrorists, or not?”