Flawed U.S. Decisions Have Endangered Israel, Bennett Says

Economy minister tells Israel Radio that only Israel can defend itself against terror and other threats.

Flawed decision-making on the part of the United States government has endangered the security of Israel, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said on Thursday.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Bennett – who just last week criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for implying that Israel boycotts could increase if peace talks fail – said that "wrong decisions" made by Washington have led to increased rocket fire on southern Israel.

Bennett said that the U.S.' insistence on holding Palestinians elections in 2006 is what brought Hamas to power in Gaza, which in turn has increased the threat of terror and rocket attacks against Israel.

Referring to his criticism of Kerry, Bennett said he has nothing against the secretary of state but that only Israel can defend itself against regional threats. He also reiterated his objection to having NATO troops or Palestinian security forces stationed in the Jordan Valley.

Bennett also spoke with Army Radio on Thursday morning, telling the station, “We will never ever allow any foreigner, not NATO forces, not the Palestinians, to protect us,” he said. “Only the Israel Defense Forces.”

Kerry on Wednesday responded to dismissive comments made by top Israeli officials regarding his attempts to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. 

"I'm not going to be intimidated and back down," Kerry said in an interview to CNN. "I’ve been attacked before by people using real bullets, not words... No one should distort what we are saying because they are opposed to the peace process."

Moti Milrod