Facebook Post: Naftali Bennett on Netanyahu situation
[IMRA translation of the Hebrew Facebook message posted by MK Naftali
Bennett on 20 October 2019
My friends in the right-wing camp,
Let's be clear:
If the judicial system succeeds in bringing down Netanyahu because of cigars
and articles on the Walla website, it will be a grave blow to the entire
The right-wing leader to follow will be castrated and frightened by the
media and the legal system.
"Why are you protecting Bibi?" I am asked every day.
My friends, I am not only defending Netanyahu , but the entire national camp
and our State of Israel.
Against the unfair legal and media persecution of Netanyahu, the head of the
right-wing camp and prime minister of Israel.
And yes, it is precisely in the most difficult times, and despite that he is
a political opponent, that I decided to share the burden.
Look, Netanyahu is not perfect.
But he was a very good prime minister for the State of Israel and its
From the moment he entered politics, he was a marked man.
Leftists in the media, academia, culture and law have made him the symbol of
They blamed him for backing Rabin's assassination, even though at the time
he came out against "traitor" cries and always resisted violence of any
When he went to a demonstration in Ra'anana, there was a protest prop of a
coffin with the slogan "Rabin is burying Zionism" - a sharp but legitimate
protest. Netanyahu was attacked for incitement for murder as if it were a
coffin designated for Rabin himself(!).
And so it goes for 25 years, he was not given a moment of rest.
It may or may not be time for his replacement, but even then, it should be
through the voting ballot and not an indictment.
By all accounts, he did not take any sacks of cash and did not transfer
money to his personal accounts.
He got a little less hostile coverage on the Walla site,
And too many cigars and champagne.
It wasn't right.
I've already said that getting cigars and champagne on a large scale from
billionaires is an unworthy example of a leader in Israel,
But really - one doesn't bring down a prime minister for it!
And something else should be clear:
If Netanyahu had announced the establishment of a Palestinian state or the
massive transfer of territories to Palestinians, like Arik Sharon did during
his days under the pressure of interrogations, the media and the judiciary
would embrace him and "encourage" him.
They would explain: "one doesn't hold up disengagement from Judea and
Samaria because of some cigars."
I too have criticism of Netanyahu.
In my opinion he complained a lot about the leftist hegemony, but in
practice, he did very little to change anything:
- Throughout his years he has given full backing to the same justice system
that is now haunting him. He seems to be scared of them, which is why they
have stopped any change (judge appointments, rules, etc.). He, like his
predecessors, just didn't do anything!
- He did not apply sovereignty over an inch of Israel.
Levi Eshkol brought in Jerusalem,
Menachem Begin the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu - nothing.
- He handed over territories to the Arabs and voted for the disengagement
plan from Gush Katif.
- He declared a Palestinian state in Bar Ilan.
- He released a lot of murderous terrorists, including Yahya Snawar.
Many of them returned to murder dozens of Jews, no longer living among us.
- He allowed Hizbullah under his watch to continue to build up their in
rockets in the years 2009-2013, and eroded Israel's deterrence against
But he also did a great deal of good for the people of Israel and
strengthened the Jewish state:
- He elevated Israel's image and position in the world to a level we have
It is with pride that we see Moody, Putin, Trump and Merkel here.
When I visited India, China and elsewhere, I saw the growing appreciation
And lots of this is thanks to Netanyahu.
- He maneuvered and survived 8 years (!) of Obama's hostile government.
A difficult and thankless task.
That's when many in the Israeli media were on Obama's side!
- He halted Iran's consolidation in Syria and helped impose very painful
sanctions on it.
He also temporarily delayed their progress toward a nuclear bomb.
- He maintained budgetary and economic responsibility and generally did not
tend to populism.
This is no small thing!
It is easiest to spread around money to gain sympathy.
He usually avoids this.
- As the Minister of Finance, he really saved the Israeli economy during the
crisis of the 2000s through a series of very unpopular actions,
and he paid a political price for it.
That's what I especially appreciate about him,
maybe most of all.
- He navigated Israel wisely in the Arab Spring era, taking advantage of
opportunities for contacts with Arab states.
- He avoided unnecessary wars.
He hurts greatly for every fallen soldier.
- Terrorism during his period (even in his first term) was very low relative
to the Oslo period and the Oslo intifada.
Far fewer Israelis died under his administrations.
I can attest, after 13 years of close acquaintance, that Israel's security
and its wellbeing are really important to him.
If I even had a slight suspicion that Netanyahu was a "dealer" in Israeli
I would be the first to act to oust him.
But it just didn't happen.
In a big way, his heart is in the right place.
He is in politics not for the honor or money (which there isn't),
but to take care of the existence of the People of Israel in their land.
In the big picture, he could have earned millions of dollars in the private
but he has been choosing to "eat gravel" day and night for the rest of us.
In my estimation, he will be remembered in the chronicles of our people as a
very good prime minister of Israel.
We will miss Benjamin Netanyahu here.
This is not an obituary.
I wish him and all of us that the cases will close and that life will return
if they succeed in bringing down Netanyahu,
there is concern that his right-wing heir will be "stunned" by the media and
the judiciary, and always try to gain their favor.
And he will not dare make the necessary changes in Israel.
Unfortunately, my actions and statements regarding judicial system reform
endanger me for the same reasons, but I will not be silent.
The system must be changed (not broken) in Israel.
A frightened right-wing leader will not be able to do that.
It's not Netanyahu they're going after, but the entire right-wing camp and
Therefore, in the face of injustice and the onslaught, I will continue to
work with all my might to protect and defend the national camp.
I expect that from you too, my friends.