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Bennett, Livni spar over Golan Heights

Jewish Home head goads Hatnua leader about departure from past remarks in favor of land concessions

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and Hatnua head Tzipi Livni, of the Zionist Camp, spar over giving up land for peace in this screen grab from a video uploaded February 1, 2015 . (Photo credit: screenshot/YouTube)
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and Hatnua head Tzipi Livni, of the Zionist Camp, spar over giving up land for peace in this screen grab from a video uploaded February 1, 2015 . (Photo credit: screenshot/YouTube)

Jewish Home leader Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and head of the Hatnua party Tzipi Livni, co-leader of the Zionist Camp with Labor’s Isaac Herzog, sparred over the potential return of the Golan Heights in any future peace deal with Syria, a highly unlikely endeavor under the current circumstances.

Bennett congratulated Livni on “wisening up” regarding the Golan after the Zionist Camp announced that it opposes a withdrawal from the territory, a departure from remarks Livni made in 2008, arguing that Israel would need to make territorial concessions to Damascus in a peace deal.

In a video (in Hebrew) posted Sunday by Bennett of a speaking event they both attended, the Jewish Home leader takes the stage after Livni steps down and declares that given the about-face on the Golan Heights, Livni “has joined the Jewish Home way.” The party is well-known its vehement opposition to ceding land for peace, including (and especially) in any potential future peace deal with the Palestinians which would require a withdrawal from most of the West Bank.

“In the past she was in favor of returning the Golan, so we can be partners [in a government coalition]. I invite you to join the Jewish Home way. Thank you, Tzipi,” Bennett says, to wild applause and cheers from the audience.

“I just hope that in 10 years, [when] you’ll wisen up about giving up the West Bank to the Arabs, you’ll come and say ‘I made a mistake,’ and I will accept your apology,” he goads.

Livni, visibly annoyed, walks back onstage, gets right in Bennett’s face, points a finger and says: “I have no problem debating ideology, I have a problem with liars in politics. You’ve not heard a different view from me on the Golan Heights.”

She then storms off as Bennett calls after her: “You’ve spoken [in favor of giving up] the Golan and also about the [Gaza] Disengagement.”

“I’ll remind you, as Tzipi leaves, that she was in favor, and proudly so, of the Gaza Disengagement [in 2005]. Today, I think any person with eyes — after we’ve had thousands of rockets launched at us from land we gave to the Arabs — today, we know that was a mistake. I will accept [her] apology for that too,” Bennett says.

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