Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett stood behind his statements on surging lawlessness in the Arab sector Sunday evening.
On Channel 2's evening newscast, Bennett refused to retract his earlier statements before high school students, according to which – “Anyone who tried to hike in the Negev in recent years knows that he cannot leave a car next to Hamahtesh Hakatan, or next to one of the streams, because it is certain that people will break into the car and steal it.”
Bennett insisted that Arab towns, East Jerusalem and some roads have become off limits to Jews. “We will change the concept from Iron Domes to hitting the enemy with an ironclad punch,” he said.
He vowed that the Jewish Home would also stop the “party” and the “summer camp” atmosphere in the jails that hold terrorist security prisoners.
"I am not saying that all the Arabs are thieves,” he explained, as anchorwoman Yonit Levy grilled him over his statements, which she portrayed as racist.
"There was never an Economics Minister who did more than me for connecting Arab men and women to employment,” he added. “I am proud of it. There is not a drop of racism in me.” Earlier Sunday, Bennett threatened to sue a reporter who said he had accused all Arabs of being car thieves.
Levy accused Bennett of “trying to out-Liberman Liberman because you are bleeding Knesset seats [in the polls].”
Bennett said that it is important that nationalists vote for the Jewish Home because if his party is not large enough, there is a danger that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will prefer to form a coalition with Tzipi Livni and Labor, and leave him out of the government.
Asked about his party's downturn in the polls, Bennett said that the party is recovering, and that a poll from Sunday shows it with 14 seats.
Asked about the condition of MK Uri Orbach, who has recently fallen ill – Bennett said that his condition is “not good” and that he asks people to pray for his health.