Bennett denounces Netanyahu’s embrace of Arab community: ‘Unfathomable cynicism’

Yamina leader Naftali Bennett lashes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his sudden embrace of the Arab community ahead of the March elections.

“How is Benjamin Netanyahu not ashamed to embrace Mansour Abbas, a man who visited terrorists who murdered soldiers on the ‘Night of the Gliders?'” Bennett says in an interview with Channel 13, referring to Abbas’s prison visits to Palestinian prisoners who perpetrated a deadly November 1987 attack.

Bennett terms Abbas’s Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement a “sister movement of Hamas” and calls Netanyahu’s overtures “shameful.” He also says he believes the moves to be “totally political,” and a sign of “unfathomable cynicism.”

Yamina leader Naftali Bennett at a protest against the state’s intention to close the Hilla Project, outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on August 12, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“The treatment of Arab citizens must be totally equal,” adds Bennett. “But does Netanyahu have no limits? To embrace people who murdered soldiers? He should apologize to Israel. Shameful.”

Bennett also confirms he won’t run with his far-right former ally Bezalel Smotrich.

“I wish him luck. This competition of who could be more extreme, divisive and provocative — I’m not interested in this,” he says, adding that his party represents all Israelis.