A long time in politics


Naftali Bennett, whom I mentioned (here) as a possible threat to the governing parties, has well and truly put his foot in it.

From the Times of Israel:

Naftali Bennett, the charismatic up-and-coming leader of the hardline Jewish Home party, has come under fire for a statement he made during an interview Thursday night to the effect that, if commanded to participate in the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, he would opt for the path of conscientious objection.

“If I am ever given an order to evacuate a Jew from his home… personally, my conscience won’t allow me to do it; I’ll ask my commander to grant me an exemption, [but] I won’t call for [mass] insubordination,” Bennett said during a heated conversation with Channel 2 interviewer Nissim Mishal (a full video of the Hebrew interview can be found here).

And more, also from the Times of Israel:

A growing chorus of politicians from both sides of the aisle on Saturday criticized remarks by Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett on Thursday that seemingly advocated insubordination among IDF soldiers who oppose the evacuation of settlements.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Saturday echoed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s critical comments Friday, by saying public figures are forbidden from talking about refusing orders, even if they don’t match one’s outlook.

Speaking at a public function in Holon, Sa’ar said that the IDF’s existence is founded on obeying orders handed down by the government.

“I personally opposed the disengagement plan [from the Gaza Strip in 2005], and I even voted against it in the Knesset, but I called for honoring the democratic decision of the majority,” he said.

I believe Sa’ar and Netanyahu’s criticism is deserved, but slightly hypocrital. Why? Because there are people on the Likud list who hold the exact same views as Bennett – they just have not aired them to the public. What Netanyahu and Likud are doing, here, is fishing for the votes of the more centrally inclined floating voters. Ironically, it might just leak some of their own right of center support to Bennet and co.

I see Bennett’s position as being dangerous for a democracy; if you are in the army, you carry out every order, unless it is an illegal order. Like it or not, if the government order evacuation of Jews – or anyone else – by the army, it’s the army’s duty to carry out the orders. No ifs. No buts. No conscientious objection. I won’t be voting for his party.