Dozens of Arab students walked out of an auditorium during an Education Ministry conference Sunday when Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett spoke. The students left when Bennett said that he would seek to appoint Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked as Public Security Minister if Jewish Home was part of the next government.
The event, which took place at Tel Aviv University, was organized to enable political candidates to present their viewpoints, and included Labor Party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, Kulanu party head Moshe Kahlon, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, former Science Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid), and others.
In his remarks, Bennett said that Shaked was the “most worthy person” for the Public Security job. “Shaked will fight the fight of rightwing Israelis without apologies,” Bennett said. “As Public Security Minister she will truly fight the phenomenon of illegal Africans entering Israel and acting as they wish, she will end the 'summer camp' mentality that rules prisons where Arab terrorists are jailed, she will restore Israel's sovereignty in the Negev and Galilee, she will end the incitement of the Islamic Movement, and in general she will restore personal safety to every Israeli.”
The embedded video shows members of the audience reacting to Bennett's statements by walking out. Bennett says to them: "Go ahead, run away. That is what the Left does. I do not run away."
Upon hearing these comments, loud shouting broke out among Arab students. Dozens got up and walked out, while others approached the podium, cursing and screaming. Bennett, for his part, continued his remarks. “Those who wish to run away can do so, but those who wish to fight for the survival of Israel can remain,” he said. “Our position is very clear – the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.
“I think we have learned an important lesson in tolerance and freedom of expression,” said Bennett to those remaining. “We will not be silenced,” he added, as enthusiastic applause broke out.
In a straw poll at the end of the event, 36% of the high school students said that, if they could, they would vote for Labor/Zionist Camp, 12% for Jewish Home, 11% for Kulanu, 10.3% for Meretz, 9% for Yesh Atid, and 9% for Likud.