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Israel minister: It’s time to recognise the West Bank ‘as Israel’

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett [Solidarity with Palestine Walter Herrman/Facebook]
Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett [Solidarity with Palestine Walter Herrman/Facebook]

Israeli minister Naftali Bennett has reiterated his call for the occupied West Bank to be formally annexed, speaking yesterday evening at an event organised by pro-settler news site Arutz Sheva.

Education Minister and Diaspora Affairs Minister, Bennett declared that Israel has “a very rare opportunity now”, referring to US President Donald Trump.

“[There is] a President who thinks different, who thinks open,” Bennett told the audience.

“It’s not enough to move the embassy to Jerusalem. It’s now 50 years since we liberated Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. It’s time to recognise them as Israel. It’s time for sovereignty,” he added, using the term often used by the Israeli right to refer to annexation.

In the same speech, Bennett claimed that “we are losing millions of Jews to assimilation” worldwide, adding: “We have to save the Jews.”

Read: Knesset calls for permanent annexation of West Bank

Describing himself, in his capacity as diaspora affairs minister, as “effectively the Minister of the Jews”, Bennett said: “We need to understand that the Jewish State is not only the state of the Israeli citizen, it’s a state where every Jew in the world has a stake here.”

“Today, throughout the world”, Bennett continued, “there’s millions of Jews that need us to go and to reach out to them. And we’re doing more than we’ve ever done.”

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