Bennett supports Netanyahu's ultimatum

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett endorses Netanyahu's decision not to meet German FM if he meets with anti-Israel left-wing NGOs.

Uzi Baruch,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett

Education Minister and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett endorsed the Prime Minister's ultimatum, presented to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel Monday. Netanyahu said that if Gabriel meets with members of the anti-Israel NGOs B'Tselem and Breaking he Silence, his scheduled meeting with Gabriel would be cancelled.

"We endorse Prime Minister Netanyahu on his decision regarding the visit of the German foreign minister," said Bennett. "Breaking the Silence is not an anti-Netanyahu organization, it is anti-IDF.

"It is not right that a foreign minister visiting a certain country meets with officials working against that country, " added Bennett. "We wouldn't have done that and we expect our friends to act the same way."

Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon also responded to Netanyahu's ultimatum and said "I support the Prime Minister's demand from the German Foreign Minister regarding Breaking the Silence. The funding and intervention by European governments regarding these subjects crosses red lines of relations between countries."

Yaalon added that "Israel has lost patience with European government funding, support and intervention through organizations like these. They don't do it to help us, they use organizations like Breaking the Silence to strengthen the spurious Palestinian narrative and to weaken Israel's status in the world."

Yaalon emphasized that he supports the right of free speech and does not favor outlawing left-wing organizations but stated that they should not be allowed access to the IDF.

NGO Monitor reports that B'Tselem, among other anti-Israel activities, constantly accuses Israel of “apartheid,” perpetrating “war crimes,” “beating and abus[ing]” Palestinians, “demolition of [Palestinian] houses as punishment,” and forced “deportations.”

In October 2016, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai Elad appeared before a special session of the UN Security Council initiated by Egypt, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Angola, asking the UN to take “decisive international action” against Israel.

Breaking the Silence is known for taking rare negative occurrences in the IDF and treating the testimony of soldiers who witnessed them as descriptive of IDF reality, maligning all IDF soldiers for the actions of a few exceptions. Since they publicize these stories, anti-Zionist outsiders use them to vilify Israel. The NGO has been banned from appearing in Israeli schools.