Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Bennett: 'Trump determined to make deal: We don't know what it'll be.'
Education Minister says deal with Erdogan was mistake, he does not oppose negotiations with PA under President Trump.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded Tuesday to the remarks of Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, in which the Turkish President accused Israel of human rights abuses and called on all Muslims to ascend the Temple Mount in order to resist "the Israeli occupation."
In an interview with Army Radio, Bennett said that "National honor is part of the element of national strength. I thought when I voted against the deal with Erdogan (over the Mavi Marmara incident), that that Erdogan is the same Erdogan and he will not change his whims."
Bennett explained that Israel had continued to do business with Turkey before the deal despite Erdogan's downgrading of relations with Israel over the incident, in which nine Turkish activists were killed when they attacked IDF troops.
Bennett also addressed US President Donald Trump's efforts to to renew negotiations between Israel and the PA: "The policy which I devised does not preclude political negotiations, but I am not prepared to accept preconditions or early concessions."
"I believe that we must move forward to achieve peace, but in the path of economic peace. This is the way to achieve stability in the Middle East. Trump is determined to bring the ultimate deal, but it is still unknown what the deal will be," Bennett said.
"We have a good government. We are in good shape in all the political parameters. But of course we have quite a few problems," Bennett added. "I am not eager for new elections. It is bad for the State of Israel, because in the end we will progress back to more or less the same place."