Prime Minister Naftali Bennett assured the leaders of US Jewish organizations on Friday that he would take steps to reduce the conflict with Palestinian Arabs, Barak Ravid of Axios reported.
According to Ravid’s report, in a 30-minute Zoom call with the Conference of Presidents of the Jewish organizations in North America, Bennett compared the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict to traffic accidents, saying it's impossible to eliminate them entirely but "it is possible to take steps to reduce the problem."
Bennett also told the Jewish leaders he believes better economy and more dignity for Palestinians can improve the situation, according to two sources who were on the call.
At the same time, the Prime Minister stressed that he didn't want to give the Palestinians the impression that a political breakthrough was coming because, "when it doesn’t happen the disappointment could lead to negative consequences." Instead, he emphasized stability and said he wouldn't take any radical steps.
Bennett also said he would not be meeting Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas because of the lawsuit he filed against Israel in the International Criminal Court.
“I come from the business world and if somebody sues me I am not going to be nice to him," Bennett reportedly said.
“The Conference of Presidents hosted a very warm and productive conversation with Prime Minister Bennett this morning in advance of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Given the long-standing relationship between the Conference of Presidents and the Prime Minister, the meeting was an open and meaningful exchange of views," William Daroff, the CEO of the Conference of Presidents, said.
Bennett’s comments follow this week’s meeting between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Abbas.
During the meeting, Gantz told Abbas that Israel seeks to take measures that will strengthen the PA’s economy.
They also discussed shaping the security and economic situations in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza. They agreed to continue communicating further on the issues that were raised during the meeting.
A senior official in the government later criticized Gantz over the meeting with Abbas, saying he “only cares about his own political interests” and is “behaving like a government within a government.”
On Wednesday, Gantz reiterated that Bennett was aware of his meeting with Abbas, and stated that he and the Prime Minister agreed on the policy that the PA should be strengthened to prevent its collapse.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)