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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Netanyahu's former chief of staff now head of Yesha Council

Naftali Bennett, who founded a successful high tech company and then served as Prime Minister Netanyahu's chief of staff from 2006-08, has become the Chief Executive Officer of the Yesha Council. But that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is that his ideas for Judea and Samaria are very different from Netanyahu's.
In February of this year, Bennett became CEO of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, commonly known the Yesha Council. Bennett is the settler umbrella body’s first senior leader to live not in a settlement but rather within the Green Line.

As Netanyahu leads Israel toward peace talks, he “is being bullied into doing something that is against Israel’s self-interest, and he knows it, but he feels that he doesn’t have a choice,” Bennett told the Forward during an interview in his home in Ra’anana, a suburban city north of Tel Aviv.

“I feel that he has a choice, he should have acted differently, and it’s not too late — he still can, though it’s getting more difficult every day,” Bennett added, referring to Netanyahu’s willingness to go along with the Obama administration’s push for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Bennett said he is “deeply disappointed” with the politician he was so keen to help that he put his spectacularly successful high-tech career on hold.


While many are waiting to see whether Netanyahu will renew the settlement freeze when it expires on September 26, Bennett is calling for a third option. He wants Netanyahu not only to do away with the freeze but also to make planning applications in the West Bank “just like in the rest of Israel” — not subject to Defense Ministry approval as they currently are, rather just to normal planning processes.

In the coming years, he wants to see the Jewish population of the West Bank — which he always refers to by the biblical regions it covers, Judea and Samaria — swell to a million.

“Judea and Samaria is empty, only around 8% of the land is built,” he explained. “There’s enough room for Palestinians’ great-great-great-grandchildren and Jews’ great-great-great-grandchildren — it’s all open space in Judea and Samaria.”
Curiously, Bennett is the first Yesha Council leader who does not live in Yesha.

Read the whole thing.


At 1:54 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

The last paragraph you excerpted is exactly what I'd like to see - a 3-d elevation map/animation of Israel's midsection (Jerusalem, west to Tel Aviv, the airport, etc.) with title search and master plan info on it... The one question I have said to lefties that actually makes them lose their train of thought is "what about the Balfour, which said Jews should be able to live in the area including Jordan, the west bank, gaza... do you want to create another country that doesn't allow Jews to enter? And should the hills be turned over to people who have shown themselves committed to shooting rockets onto civilian areas... except the civilian areas will be the airport and the biggest cities...?" That actually causes a brain stutter in these people who think they are superior and know what should happen.

At 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say 'plant'?

The council has proven itself to be a jellyfish time and time again.

Watch this space.


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