Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Naftali Bennet, head of the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, took part Tuesday in a conference on social issues at Sapir College in Sderot.

Bennet called on Israelis to put aside their differences and ignore attempts to create division. “There is a dialogue saying, ‘Let’s get the settlers, it’s all their fault,’ the hareidim are also blamed, and the ‘disconnected’ in Tel Aviv, and then the Arabs, too,” he said.

“The Jewish home does not accept a dialogue of hate,” he continued. “The Jewish Home will solve the problems together. Hate is not the way.”

“When I served as a commander in the IDF, there were no religious or secular, only soldiers,” he added.

Regarding Israel’s conflict with the Arab world, Bennet said, “Until now there have been two plans: a Palestinian state, meaning a rocket in the living room, or annexing the territories and the 1.8 million Arabs living there – meaning Hamas terrorists in central Tel Aviv.”

“1,600 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks from Judea and Samaria after we left the area under an agreement [with the PA]. The state’s most basic obligation to its citizens is to protect them – and we failed in that,” he said.

On the subject of protection from terrorism, he said, “The Iron Dome is a tool, not a strategy. We cannot wall ourselves in, we don’t have the money for that.”

Bennet also spoke about the “social justice” protests, criticizing both the tycoons and many of those who speak against them. “There are hidden taxes, that we pay without knowing: the tycoon tax – there’s a pyramid of tycoons who do not allow competition and new players, [and] the big unions tax – the Histadrut now protects the strong at the expense of the week,” he said. “The dock workers’ uion upped salaries by 4,000 shekels today.”

“’Union power’ is as bad as ‘Wealth power,’” Bennet continued. Wealthy tycoons with large shares of the market and unions “are strangling the economy together,” he said.