Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hanegbi: Bennett as Prime Minister Will Also Adapt Pragmatic Policies

Likud-Beytenu's Tzachi Hanegbi, took a swipe as Bayit Yehudi's leader, Naftali Bennett for adopting the annexation plan, while criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu's weak standing on nationalists rights, during a foreign policy debate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Hanegbi said that all right-wing leaders have at one point in their life had a similar dream — a dream killed by the demands of realpolitik that come with high political office, “because everyone becomes pragmatic once he becomes the prime minister,” he said. Even Netanyahu conducted negotiations with Abbas based on the Oslo Accords he used to oppose. “And Naftali,” Hanegbi added jokingly, “when he’s prime minister in 15 days, will also adapt such pragmatic policy.”

For his side, Bennett argued that the Bayit Yehudi is "the only party that opposes founding a Palestinian state – the land of Israel stretches from Jordan to the Mediterranean. There is no perfect solution, but it is time that the international community took a fresh look at an old problem – right now we’re heading towards knowingly committing suicide.”

“There is no perfect solution for this Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but there’s imperfect ways to live together on the ground,” he said,pointing to his so-called Stability Plan, which calls for Israel annexing Area C, 60% of the West Bank territory that is home to an estimated 4% of the Palestinian population.

Hanegbi, whom the Atlantic judged as "making his case to become the Joe Biden of Israeli politics," quipped that it was easy to follow Bennett, "as he makes me look reasonable."