Education Minister Naftali Bennett referred Tuesday morning to the "Regulation Package" he had negotiated with Prime Minister Netanyahu and attacked the decision by Channel 10 journalist Raviv Drucker to send an investigator to illicitly record Givati Brigade commander Ofer Winter.
"The idea of sending a person with recording devices to record the Givati Brigade Commander, a war hero who is protecting us, is shocking," said Bennett. "I was a company commander in the IDF, to think that when I was talking with soldiers somebody was recording me? Have we gone crazy? Do we want to ruin the trust between commanders and their subordinates?," he asked in an Army Radio interview.
He describes this as a 'red line which must not be crossed.' "The media must say to itself- we will not send recording equipment to IDF officers as this will ruin trust.
"A media story is not holy, I don't want brigade and battalion commanders standing before soldiers and choosing their words because maybe Raviv Drucker or Razi Barkai sent somebody with a recording device."
Bennett responded sharply to Barkai's claim that this is normal media practice, stating that "The IDF is beyond the pale. One can investigate and examine but one cannot send a person to a brigade commander with four recording devices on him, that is abnormal.
"The price for Israel's security, for mutual responsibility, for sense of trust between officers and their soldiers is so great that there are some more important things than media investigations."
Bennett related that he had held meetings with leading Religious Zionist rabbis in order to update them about the details of the 'Regulation Package' in Judea and Samaria. "We have scored a historic achievement which we have not had since the beginning of the establishment of communities in Judea and Samaria. In one fell swoop 500,000 residents of Judea and Samaria will be called local residents from the moment the law passes and this will have implications for everything - their ability to build, receive mortgages, on building a special room for Yehuda HaYisraeli in Ofra and on the automatic dismissal of hundreds of superfluous Peace Now petitions to the High Court.
With reference to Amona, Bennett said regretfully that: "I don't see a chance that they will not have to move their houses seven or one hundred meters away from there. Originally when I met them they emphasized that the goal was not Amona but saving the entire community establishment in Judea and Samaria. In the merit of these 40 wonderful families and in the merit of our dedicated struggle we have reached a watershed moment."
Bennett responded to claims that the High Court would disqualify the law. "We have taken that into account and concurrently with promoting the Regulation Law, we have adopted another move which will serve as a safety net and will provide 90% of what the law provides without new legislation. Even if the law is disqualified an historic change is taking place here. The Attorney General is opposed to the Regulation Law but not to the safety net. In effect, the state of Israel recognizes a form of 'buyer protection' so that if a person innocently built on land which was later found to have an ownership claim on it, the house is not removed and the person pays compensation."
"We will implement the same ordinance in Judea and Samaria," explained Bennett. "This is a dramatic step which will save thousands of houses and give security to half a million residents."
The Education Minister added that he does not anticipate a violent evacuation of Amona. "I hope not, they are wonderful people and one needs to empathize with their pain. The idea that people might destroy your house is very difficult. They were the catalyst for a historic development and I am convinced we are doing the right thing now. This is the right thing for the State of Israel and for the Judean and Samarian communities. Any other avenue would endanger them."