Bennett Blasts Left, Declares 'End of Oslo Era'

Habayit Hayehudi leader tells Herzliya Conference: For 21 years Israeli governments have followed leftist path - now it’s our turn.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Minister Naftali Bennett
Minister Naftali BennettCredit: Emil Salman
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday that the swearing-in of the Fatah-Hamas unity government marked "the end of the Oslo era."

"After 21 years in which we tried a certain path, which included withdrawals, concessions, release of terrorists, disengagement, unilateral and bilateral separation, the time has come to acknowledge that it doesn't work," Bennett, head of Habayit Hayehudi, said in a speech at the annual Herzliya Conference.

He attacked the Israeli left over its opposition to his plan. "For 21 years Israeli governments have adopted your positions, and we've reached a dead end. Outside of attacking [my] sovereignty plan, what do you propose? For 21 years you were given your chance. Now it's our turn."

The minister said he had a peace plan of his own (which he first rolled out in the 2013 election campaign): gradually asserting Israeli sovereignty over Area C, the 61 percent of the West Bank where Israel, according to the Oslo Accords, has complete control. On the remainder of the West Bank (where well over 90 percent of the territory's Palestinians live), Bennett proposed "autonomy-plus with complete freedom of movement."

Bennett said the first West Bank area that Israel should annex is the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem, which "belonged to us from before 1948." He added that even if the international community objects to the move at first, "over the years the world will get used to it." Bennett stressed that annexation was not meant to punish the Palestinians, but "rather is simply the right thing to do."

He added: "I call on the prime minister to take the necessary step, even if it is not the easy step: Carry out the sovereignty plan, step by step, and begin by asserting sovereignty over Gush Etzion."

About an hour before their speeches at the Herzliya Conference, Bennett, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni previewed their remarks during the ministers meeting convened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to explore alternatives in the wake of the failed peace talks.

As at the conference, Livni and Lapid joined forces in threatening to bolt the coalition if any move was made to annex West Bank territory, while Bennett went over his plan to annex most of the West Bank, beginning with Gush Etzion.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer