Bennett slams Netanyahu for fence-building

Jewish Home chair attacks PM's plan to surround Israel with fences, asserting Zionism should be based on Judaism not survival.

Hezki Baruch ,

בנט בכנס המנהלים
בנט בכנס המנהלים
צילום: חזקי עזרא

Education Minister Naftali Bennett attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday for his plan to surround all of Israel with security fences. 

Speaking at a conference of Religious Zionist educators at the Dead Sea, Bennett addressed the community's role in Israeli society. 

"(Our role) is to return the Jewish soul to the people of Israel," he asserted. "This is our role and it's a gigantic step. How do we do it? By leading in all walks of life. In security, business and all other places. We are now the country's leadership."

"With love and leadership will we be victorious, not through force," Bennett added. "We need to be mainstream and not just sectoral. To get up in the morning and think about how the child in north Tel Aviv will receive Judaism, how the child in Ofakim will learn math."

"We can no longer indulge," he continued. "We are in leadership. We will govern according to our path but on the other hand we need to get out of the position of the victim."

Addressing the controversy over a new civics textbooks, Bennett noted that "for years, a generation of students learned citizenship as if the relationship of the Jewish people to its land began in 1947." 

"If we draw our relationship from the United Nations, then we have no relationship to the state," he charged. "The country is Jewish and democratic. There is a lot of opposition and we need to act without fear."

"I am proud to be here and part of this public," Bennett stressed. "This is the public that is most criticized and most willing to criticize itself. Keep on this road."

Addressing Netanyahu's remarks earlier Tuesday as he toured the fence being built along Israel's eastern border with Jordan, Bennett slammed, "If the entire basis of our existence is to be a shelter, there are better and safer places than the State of Israel." 

"Today the Prime Minister suggested we wrap ourselves in fences. There's no need for fences in Australia or New Jersey. Therefore, we're making a change from a Zionism based on security and survival to one based on Judaism."