'I will be Defense Minister next time around'

Jewish Home chief vows to take Defense portfolio, currently held by Liberman, after next election. 'We need to acted decisively.'

David Rosenberg ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) set his sights on the Defense Ministry portfolio Thursday, declaring his intentions to succeed incumbent minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) after the next Knesset election.

Bennett, who has in other recent interviews mentioned his interest in leading Israel’s Defense Ministry, said he would demand the position during the coalition negotiations for the next government – assuming that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is elected for a fifth term as premier.

The Jewish Home chief recently told Politico that plans on running for Prime Minister once Binyamin Netanyahu resigns from politics, but in the interim would seek the Defense portfolio.

“I want to be the Defense Minister,” Bennett said Thursday. “I want to bring back confidence and faith in our ability to make decisions without wavering.”

The Education Minister then cited a series of recent security decisions, and noted his opposition to concessions in each case, including the removal of metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount follow mass protests by local Muslims, and the return of terrorists’ remains following terror attacks.

“During Operation Protective Edge [against Hamas in 2014], the magnetometers [at the entrance to the Temple Mount], and the return of terrorist [bodies], I’ve always presented a clear, hard line, and I want to bring that to the security establishment.”