Bennett at Gaza border
Bennett at Gaza borderFlash 90

Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with "Forward", the American Jewish media outlet, conveying his agenda and messages to Jewish diaspora.

Regarding his opposition to the foundation of a Palestinian State, Bennett stated: "The minority is the Jewish people in the Middle East. We are surrounded by 22 Arab states and hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims. Many of them want to annihilate the Jewish State. Ultimately, founding another Palestinian state like the one we founded in Gaza would mean the end of the Jewish state".

"We do not want war but they want to annihilate us. We tried it time and again", Bennett explained, "We’re not suicidal... and this is the real world; this is not a philosophy class in some Ivy League college in the United States."

Bennett was asked by Forward reporter Batya Ungar-Sargon why American Jews should fight BDS. "Why should we, who are being murdered in our synagogues, use our political capital defending Israel’s image, instead of Israel spending its energy improving its issues, which would improve its image?"

"I think all Jews need to take care of one another", Bennett answered, "and when a Jew is hurt in a synagogue, or murdered in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, as an Israeli, it’s my problem, and that’s why I flew over. When a Jew is murdered or hurt in Paris or in Spain or anywhere around the world, I care, because it’s my brother". Bennett continued and defined how he sees the ultimate goal of BDS - "to destroy Israel through delegitimization".

Bennett emphasized that it is hard to understand the situation in the region from afar. "When you grow up in New Jersey or California, you don’t really realize what it is to live next to Hezbollah and ISIS", Bennett explained, "so sometimes it becomes this theoretical debate utterly disconnected from the reality on the ground".

"The lives of my kids matter more than a theoretical, philosophical pontification of folks around the world. So anyone who wants to judge us should come to see what it’s like to live in Sderot for one week and then start preaching to us about what we ought to be dong here with the Palestinians".