Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

Referring to Israel as an “apartheid state” is a “blatant lie”, Economy Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said on Thursday.

Bennett gave a series of interviews to international media outlets and, in one of these interviews, was asked by a Sky News interviewer whether he is “worried” that the term “apartheid” is being used by some British parliamentarians in reference to Israel.

“That’s a blatant lie,” responded Bennett. “[Israel is] the only country in this area that treats its 1.5 million minority of Muslims, of Arabs, with full equal rights. They vote for our parliament. They have members of parliament. They pay taxes. They go to work. They enjoy full equal rights.”

“I don’t recall that in Saudi Arabia women can drive, and I do remember a few Arab states that kill gays and stone them. And I know that Syria is butchering its own people,” he continued. “So for you to suggest that Israel is an apartheid state when we’re the only place in the Middle East that provides full equal rights to citizens - that’s a blatant lie and I don’t accept that approach.”

“You should be praising Israel for being in a very tough situation,” Bennett told the interviewer. “Fighting in a world of Al-Qaeda and Hamas and ISIS now. And for you to sit in London and call us apartheid, that’s unacceptable.”

“We’re fighting your war, make no mistake. If this Islamic regime comes and flows over Israel, it’s going to hit London. In fact, it is. They killed a soldier on London’s streets. And they’re going to do that again,” warned Bennett.