Israel needs to stand up for its rights more forcefully in the international arena, according to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who said that continued talk of a "two-state solution" actually harmed Israel's standing abroad.
The Jewish Home party leader spoke today (Tuesday) at a conference entitled “Towards A New Law of War”, held in Jerusalem by “Shurat Hadin”, a human rights organization dedicated to taking legal action against terrorist groups and those who fund them, and called for the establishment of an official government body for combating delegitimization.
"We can't win the battle if we don't fight it. This is a struggle for our survival and we don't allocate enough resources to it like we do for planes, tanks and guns," Bennett said.
The Education Minister asked the audience to "imagine that only 30% of our tanks worked because we hadn't invested enough in this area. Imagine that out of every 10 weapons we acquired only 3 would fire smoothly, because of delegitimization.
"This country already has the Shin Bet, the Mossad, and the IDF. It's time to establish an official body to do battle in the legal, economic, and academic spheres, an institution that will act in an organized fashion – with adequate resources – against delegitimization. Maybe we should allocate some of our resources to this fight? Why should start up nation fight like a dinosaur?"
Regarding the two-state solution, Bennett said, "We need to shift the battlefield. The current front, the two-state solution, is a bad place to be in and fight from."
"Some people thought the Bar-Ilan speech was good. I disagree," Bennett continued, referring to Prime Minister Netanyahu's famous 2013 speech.
"We need to stop talking about insoluble issues and focus on our strengths. We need to move the fight to a sphere that is good for Israel," claimed the Education Minister.
Bennett added,"Israel is the most threatened country in the world, surrounded on all sides by enemies and terrorist organizations, and we've still found a way to live well. Something is working. We strike a good balance between fighting terrorism and respecting human and citizens' rights. Despite our national pastime of pessimistic whining, we are succeeding."
"How can we expect the world to speak in our favor and win for us if we don't do so ourselves? If we stand up for ourselves, the world will respect that. The world respects nations that respect themselves."