Bayit Yehudi leader, Naftali Bennett described the attacks on him over the 'disobeyance' gaffe as a "crazy weekend", in which the Prime Minister and Likud "opened the gates of hell" on him while he was observing the Shabbat.
Speaking in English to a large,English-speaking crowd at the Tel Aviv port on Sunday evening, Bennett, a reservist in the Israel Defense Forces, seemed to retract from his statements during the weekend, saying “Every soldier has to obey democratically given orders, myself included.”
Bennett discussed in length his vision“to restore the Jewish soul to Am Yisrael” and to “make it possible for anyone [Jewish] to live in Israel, especially young people.”
He spoke about affordable housing, poverty, religious equality, and national sservice for the Ultra-Orthodox sector.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Bennett said: “I will do everything in my ability, forever, to prevent a Palestinian state from being founded within the land of Israel.”
At one point he feigned a strong Israeli accent and joked about cultural differences between Israel and America, where he spent several years running a hi-tech company. With a wink to the current administration, he noted that there are no Hebrew words for “competence” or “accountability.”
A potential voter, who gave his name as Mitch B. and who immigrated to Israel from Baltimore four years ago, said he was not entirely swayed by Bennett’s pitch, Haaretz reported. “I like that he’s self-made in America, so I think he knows how to get things to work efficiently without corruption,” he said. “My concern is that he lacks certain leadership characteristics. He’s not a Bibi.”