Israeli Knesset Member Naftali Bennett warned that Israel approving a Palestinian state would be the “biggest mistake” of the country’s history during a December 2 Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) webinar.
Bennett, a member of the New Right party, said during the conclusion of his remarks: “It would be [the] biggest mistake in Israel’s history to approve a Palestinian state.” Prior to that, he had stated that the recent peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf Arab nations showed that the Arab world has gradually understood that “the Jewish state is here to stay.” Additionally, the peace agreements showed that the “Palestinians first” mindset has been “proven wrong,” Bennett argued.
He also argued that prior peace efforts that failed resulted in bloodshed, pointing to the First and Second Intifadas.
“There is a price to pay for failed peace efforts,” Bennett said.
The Knesset member proceeded to condemn the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to terrorists who murder Jews and their families, saying that it’s “unbelievable that in the year 2020 an actual entity, the Palestinian Authority, which some people in the world consider as an actual state, actually pays right now… monthly salaries to people who murder Jews or their families based on the amount of time that they’re sitting in jail.” Bennett added that the amount of money increases for each murder, especially if the murders take place in Jerusalem.
Bennett said that during his tenure as Israeli Defense Minister from 2019–20, he took action to designate any bank that touches the PA’s terror payments as a terror affiliate, which helped stem the spread of PA money to terrorists. However, the new Israeli government has since ended this policy, “so the money continues flowing,” Bennett said. He called for the Israeli government to pass legislation to stop banks from touching the money.
“There’s no way to defend terror money,” Bennett said. “It’s not a matter of ideology. Just stop paying these freaking terrorists and it will be ok.”
Regarding annexation, Bennett said that Israel needs to continue to “build our land.” He recalled that when he was defense minister, he went forward with plans to build a new Israeli neighborhood in Hebron despite “doomsday” warnings that such actions would result in a third intifada.
“These doomsday scenarios didn’t materialize,” Bennett said, adding that “you can’t not do the right thing because of threats of violence… otherwise you’re giving up on what’s important to you.”