SHOWDOWN: Netanyahu to Bennett: Apologize or Be Dismissed



When it comes to politics, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plays hardball and in this case, the recipient of his wrath is Bayit Yehudi leader Minister Naftali Bennett.

This began with leaked reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is contemplating a deal with the PA (Palestinian Authority) which will permit residents of some yishuvim to remain in their homes, living under PA rule as citizens of Israel.

PA officials did not waste time and released statements that the future state of Palestine will be “settler free”, unwilling to entertain any arrangement that includes Jews living under PA rule. This statement was also echoed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

Minister Bennett was quick to respond to the reports, stating such a plan represents the prime minister abandoning his principles and it is totally unacceptable. Bennett’s harsh response and threatening tone was not received well by the Prime Minister’s Office to put it mildly and the prime minister has now given Bennett an ultimatum, to apologize of be dismissed for his blatant public display of insubordination. Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz, who is close to the prime minister, has publically demanded an apology from Bennett as well. MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who is also close to the prime minister, called for an apology, categorizing Bennett’s remarks as “lacking derech eretz”. Hanegbi questioned why Bennett repeatedly attacks the prime minister and his policies, yet he remains in the coalition while admitting he does not agree with its policy decisions. He questions why Bennett is “clinging to his cabinet seat”, suggesting that he resign from the cabinet.

Bayit Yehudi MKs are standing firmly behind their party leader, including Ayelet Shaked, who told Israel Radio Bennett attacked the prime minister’s policies, not him personally. She defended his comments and the party’s unwillingness to accept the reported deal in the working of the prime minister, questioning why the fuss and calls for an apology. She views Bennett’s remarks within the realm of legitimate parliamentary criticism.

Also coming out in support of Bennett was Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita, who instructs Bennett “not to be afraid or discouraged”.

Israel Radio on Wednesday morning announced that the ultimatum from the Prime Minister’s Office to Bennett was made and the minister will now have to weigh his party’s options.

Speaking to Israel Radio on Wednesday morning 28 Shevat, Housing Minister (Bayit Yehudi) Uri Ariel was asked how his party remains in the coalition while the prime minister speaks of Jews living under PA sovereignty. Ariel masterfully sidestepped responding directly, stating his party has stated all along that for as long as the government does not betray the coalition agreements, Bayit Yehudi can continue finding its seat at the cabinet table. He stated “there is still matters to be discussed and agreement on issues” but conceded if the diplomatic process with the PA heads towards agreement, Bayit Yehudi will have to act.

The daily Maariv reports the situation is strained and the prime minister simply has a lack of trust issue in Bennett – so much so that the prime minister did not establish an inner cabinet of nine that would address the nation’s most sensitive security and defense issues, such as Iran, simply because it would have to include Bennett, a senior coalition partner.

Maariv quotes senior officials from the prime minister’s inner circle anonymously explaining that Bennett is too quick to run and publish on his Facebook page. They are quoted saying that it became evident to officials in the Prime Minister’s Office that at times, former National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror would brief Bennett on matters of significant importance and the following day these very same issues would appear in the media. This is when Mr. Netanyahu decided Bennett is no longer trustworthy.

Speaking at an Institute for National Security Studies conference, Bennett said “These are crucial days regarding the fate of the Israel and days that demand we speak the truth. It is not negotiating when you run scared in the world… Israelis understand the guarantee for the existence of the Jewish state is a strong IDF and a belief in our derech… Davka in 2012 was the quietest year in recent years. There wasn’t a diplomatic process but we survived and there no fatalities in Yerushalayim, Yehuda and Shomron and only one fatality nationwide.”

He added “our descendants will not forgive a leader who makes land concessions.”

Maariv adds that it appears the prime minister’s anger towards Bennett is personal, primarily due to Bennett accusing him of abandoning his principles. Aides to Mr. Netanyahu call Bennett’s statements “chutzpah and crossing the red line”, leading to the ultimatum.

It should be pointed out that despite the harsh words and the ultimatum, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu until now has not said a thing publically regarding Bennett and his comments, preferring to have his aides speak in his name.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Just like kerry. You do whatever you want and if anybody criticizes you, you fight back crying like a baby. He didn’t apologise. He pointed out your failures and untruths now man up and accept responsibility. Don’t character assinate him. He learned this from kerry when yaalon pointed out heinrich kerrys goal of signing a “piece” agreement while not giving a d..n to israeli security needs nor to itscitizens lives. Shame o you bibi onthis discusting childish blackmale, together with kerrys childish behavior.

  2. The fear of speaking your mind regarding security, religion, ethical behaviors is appalling, has BIBI turned into a Soviet CZAR????
    The population voted for a right wing government consisting of BY, Likud, & Leaberman. So why is Czar Bibi in shock that the people do not agree to this disastrous Peace agreement!!

  3. great so now let bennett step out, break up the coalition and be”H with new election Hashem should send a yeshua with all the internal issues in the country…

  4. Apologize?! APOLOGIZE!?!?! Do I detect a suddenly nervous Bibi beginning to quake in his boots? The nerve of having his REAL plans exposed to the very public whom he imperils! I agree with the comments of Ayelet Shaked, and Bibi is going to have to apologize, that’s who!

    The only thing good about all this is a once-again reminder by way of Abu Mazen’s rejoinder (in case all the past identical PA comments and promises have somehow escaped everyone’s notice), that they have no intention of having a free, tolerant, and peaceful state next door.

  5. Looks like We’re in “The Last Days of the Secular State”
    When Ariel Sharon – the ultimate symbol of the secular state – finally passed from the scene, it was a sign, in my mind, that the state itself would not be far behind.
    This is wonderful news, because the “Medinah” is the unholy side – the Klipos – of the kingdom to come which arises from the side of holiness.
    According to Rav Aryeh Carmell in The Messianic Process:
    ” The ‘Holy kingdom of Israel’ – Maharal’s term for the reign of the Messiah – will emerge from an earlier, non-holy kingdom.”
    The Maharal himself wrote: “…The holy kingdom of Israel… must grow out of the non-holy kingdom that preceded it.”
    Netanyahu’s Ultimatum: Bennett Must ‘Apologize or Quit’
    …sources threatened that “if (Bennett) won’t apologize,” he risks the dissolution of the current coalition government.
    …On Tuesday, Bennett reiterated in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) that “leaving Jews under foreign leadership is a 180-degree turn for Zionism. What happened to us?
    Min. Ariel Admits ‘Mini-Crisis’ with Netanyahu
    A further sign of the dissolution of the secular Zionist enterprise is the apparent assimilation of the Prime Minister’s son with a gentile woman in the heart of Eretz Yisrael. And what can we say of ongoing physical attacks against Jews in the Land of Israel for simply being Jews?
    All of the reasons the secular Zionists ever gave for being “a free people in our own land” have proven to be empty. Jews are not safe from the attacks of goyim on the streets of our homeland. Our synagogues are not safe from the graffiti of swastikas. Our sons and daughters are not safe from intermarriage.

    Secular Zionism and the state it spawned are done! It only remains for us to recognize the fact.