Sunday, January 13, 2013

With Right-Wing Vote in Pocket, Bennet Moderates Ahead of Election Day

"We will be responsible partners," Naftali Bennett told reporters, indicating he has moved towards some moderation 9 days ahead of election, in an attempt to be viewed as a viable partner in the next government. "We're not coming along to break up a government two months after we join it. We're not coming along to topple a right-wing government over every little thing. As long as no decision is made to hand over territory, we have no reason to leave the government," Bennett sought to ease Netanyahu's dilemma of creating a roght-wing government amid the sudden rise of the Bayit Yehudi.

"On the contrary, we are coming in with a broad, mature, statesmanlike view, not a right-wing, sectoral one. Our passion, what motivates us, is the good of the entire nation of Israel, and that is what will guide us in the government. We have come to work," he added.

Territorial issues will not be the primary focus of his party's tenure in the 19th Knesset, Bennett said. "The Land of Israel is not the sole flag we're flying, nor is it the primary flag. Even Uri Ariel, No. 2 on the united ticket [with National Union] and the leader of Tekuma, doesn't deal solely with Land of Israel matters," he said, adding that Ariel is seeking a cabinet portfolio that will enable him "to work for the entire nation of Israel." 

"We don't see ourselves as a right-wing party, certainly not as radical right, but as a centrist party," Bennett added. "This is the message I give every week to candidates on the ticket during our meetings."