Naftali Bennett, the leader of Israel’s rising Jewish Home party, gave the keynote speech at Beit Orot Yeshiva’s recent annual dinner in New York. Speaking by satellite, Bennett talked about what he saw as his role in a resurgent Jewish identity in Israel, saying that “what we’re seeing is dormant Jewish identity that has been suppressed for so many years being uncovered, and I happen to be the guy lucky enough to open the cork.”
Bennett described his wish to see traditional Jewish education in all Israeli schools. “We need every kid in Israeli schools to know who David HaMelekh (King David), Moshe Rabbeniu (Moses), and the Rambam (Maimonides) were,” he said, adding that many Israeli children do not even know of Yonatan Netanyahu, the only Israeli soldier killed in the Entebbe Raid, and the brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett had strong criticism for those in favor of establishing a Palestinian state. He said that “Prime Minister Netanyahu unfortunately followed the direction of his predecessors” in supporting a Palestinian state within the Land of Israel, which he describes as “a vital mistake, suicide for Israel.”
“It’s all true,” he continued. “We need Judea and Samaria for security reasons, we have a lot of water there, but first and foremost, the Land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel…it’s ours.”
A video of Bennett’s speech can be viewed below: