Former Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett
Former Prime Minister, Naftali BennettReuters

Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to Fox News to defend Israel's efforts to defend its citizens in the wake of the Hamas massacre of October 7, and started by saying that “we’re surrounded by thousands and tens of thousands and sometimes millions of people who want to annihilate Israel. This is our neighborhood. I wish we had a different neighborhood. I wish our neighbors were New Jersey, and perhaps Connecticut, but our neighbors are Syria, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, ISIS. This is the neighborhood we’re in and we’ve got to be strong and tough, and we’ve got to beat them.”

On the world’s response to the IDF attack in Gaza, including Jonathan Glazer’s comment at the Oscar Award ceremony, Bennett said “shame on them. How easy it is to sit in LA and tell Israel that we’re on the bad. What occupation is he talking about? Who is occupying Gaza? Gaza has been occupied and governed by the Palestinians for the past 17 years.”

Bennett responded to the claim of Israel’s response being disproportionate, saying “in World War II Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,406 Americans. America went on for four years to defeat Japan, killing three million Japanese, including one million civilians, because they were eradicating an evil regime and there was no choice. We’re talking about five months in and we’ve killed 13,000 terrorists and have the lowest collateral ratio damage in history. We could have ended this war in a couple of days if we hadn’t bent over backwards to minimize casualties.”

Bennett asserted that “President Biden has been a great friend to Israel. He came to Israel after October 7th and showed his compassion and care for Israel. Now is the real time. We knew that this was going to take time. Now is the time to stand behind Israel. We have got to get the job done. If we keep a quarter of Hamas alive, they are just going to reconstitute themselves and we are going to face this very same massacre a year from now. We can eradicate terror, we can eradicate enemies. There are Nazi sympathizers, but there is no Nazi Germany. We beat terror in Judea and Samaria in 2003 and we can beat this. We can eradicate Hamas. We’re on track to getting it done. You don’t have to kill every single Hamas member, just like we didn’t kill every Nazi, but once we topple the regime, we bring in a new regime, even with some moderate Hamas members.”

“At the moment,” says Bennett, “our goal is total defeat of Hamas and we don’t have any choice. We cannot do anything differently with a zombie terrorist state next to us. The whole world saw what happened to Israel when we didn’t defend ourselves. No other country would be held to a standard of stopping a counter-attack on these terror villains. After what they did to us, if this was done to America, the equivalent would be about 36,000 Americans murdered, burned, raped. What would America do?”

Bennett continued, “We recognize that people in Gaza are also suffering. Many in Gaza were also involved and Hamas enjoys popular support; two-thirds of the Palestinians support the massacre, support Hamas. I think it will take a few years to de-Nazify Gaza, take out that horrible ideology, during which there would be a non-elected technocratic leadership and then they would be able to lead themselves.”