MK: PM's Trial Balloon will Explode in our Faces

MK Chetboun stands behind party leader Bennett, who attacked Netanyahu's alleged suggestion to leave settlers under PA rule.

Gil Ronen ,

MK Yoni Chetboun
MK Yoni Chetboun
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home), who is a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, stood behind party leader Naftali Bennett Tuesday in the crisis with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over a controversial statement by sources in the prime minister's office.

Netanyahu is said to be fuming over Bennett's sharp criticism of the statement, according to which Netanyahu favors the idea of placing Jewish settlers who live in Judea and Samaria under the sovereignty of a future Palestinian state.

"We need to get a sense of proportion,” explained Chetboun. “The nation chose a nationalist government and received a post-Zionist policy. Abandoning the residents of Judea and Samaria to Palestinian rule will be a stain in the history of the nation of Israel.”

"They are calling it 'spin' that was intended to embarrass Abu Mazen [PA leader Mahmoud Abbas],” he added, “but it is important to remember that spinology is not leadership but political trickery. The trial balloon that Netanyahu's bureau floated will explode in our faces one day, because a nation cannot be led through trial and error. A leader needs to express clear stands. Wheeling and dealing with the country's basic positions erodes our values.”

"On the tactical level, too, this is a mistkae,” Chetboun continued. “This rodes our basic positions in negotiations. The idea of abandoning the Jews of Judea and Samaria to Palestinian government that is being presented as a tactical move today, could turn into the opening position in the next round of talks vis-a-vis the Palestinians. That's how it is with spins – you know where it starts but afterward you no longer have control over it.”

Chetboun lambasted Netanyahu's bureau for choosing to fight with the Jewish Home instead of publicly rejecting the idea of abandoning the Jews of Judea and Samaria. “It is a privilege to be scolded for insisting that Jews must remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

"The public elected a nationalist government, but if the prime minister wants a leftist government with Hatnua, Yesh Atid and Labor then the ball is in his hands,” the rookie MK added.