'You don’t fire at the State of Israel and come out clean'

Bennett lays out his policies for the first time since entering the Ministry of Defense.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Monday evening at a conference of New Right activists in Givat Shmuel, and discussed security concept that he intends to bring to light in his new role.

"I have been given responsibility for a subject that is so acute to us and this is our future, the existence of the Jewish people in this country," said Bennett. “The perception that we will gradually move toward is that of making a switch in our heads. It won’t happen overnight, but it also won’t take 20 years.”

“For too many years we have been accepting that they fire at us from time to time. So no, no, nobody has the right to fire a rocket, missile or bullet at the Jewish state. We have to make the switch."

Minister Bennett said that many people had asked him why the attack against Iranian targets in Syria last week was so widespread, "After all, what happened? They fired four rockets that never hit the Golan Heights. We went and attacked a long line of targets, Iranian bases in Syria, and everyone was surprised. The answer is: You don’t fire at the State of Israel and come out clean."

"Not only will they not fire on Israel, we made the heavy mistake in the 1990s and continue doing it to this day, of allowing a terrorist organization to arm and arm and import and produce thousands of rockets, tens of thousands of rockets, 140,000 rockets in Lebanon, now we are setting a goal - we do not want to see Iran in Syria. You have nothing to look for there, get out of Syria."

Bennett praised IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and the IDF commanders, saying, "I was privileged to see that we have great commanders, excellent people in the IDF, an excellent Chief of Staff, excellent generals, and we need the right spirit and determination where we are not afraid to say ‘they won’t fire at us’, and if they fire at us then there are completely different responses than in the past.”

The Defense Minister said he did not intend to prevent economic growth from Arabs in Gaza and Judea and Samaria who are not involved in terrorism. "I also come up with an economic outlook that says I have no reason to prevent economic well-being from Arab citizens in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. I, as a person who grew up in the business world, believe in this very much. It will not bring peace but let them have it.”

"And so in this regard, too, I am not afraid to allow things that may not have been permitted in the past because I do not see why we should bother the Gazans or just make it harder for them. We will attack those who need to be attacked even more strongly than before, but those who are unrelated will be healthy. That is the concept I am promoting and even if we get a little criticism for it, I believe in it very much and we will do it.”

Bennett reiterated his position that he would not agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, and hinted of his intention to fight the Palestinian takeover of Area C. "The State of Israel is in a campaign over the design its borders, over the shape of the future of Judea and Samaria, we are not in the United Nations, we are on the Israeli side. They live in Areas A and B, let them thrive there. No Palestinian state will be established anywhere.”

In conclusion, Bennett said, "On the one hand - a strong deterrent to the enemies, on the other - economic well-being for civilians and at the same time, a significant campaign for the future of Israel. With the help of God and with your help we will succeed.”