Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday declared that the “mission” of the country’s military “is to uphold the Jewish State’s eternal presence in the Land of Israel”, reported Arutz Sheva.
Bennett, a well-known opponent of Palestinian statehood, was almost certainly referring to the entirety of historic Palestine, including the occupied West Bank.
The defence minister made the remarks during a meeting with the military’s senior officials, including Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi.
Bennett began his speech by thanking the commanders, stating: “Thank you for so many years, in which everyone who sits here contributes to the most important thing: the existence of the Jewish state and the Jewish people in Israel. I come here in awe, there’s a lot to learn.”
The minister focused his remarks on what he saw as the State of Israel’s place in Jewish history.
“We will not get a fourth chance. We had a Jewish state in this country that survived as a sovereign and unified state 80 years in its firsts year and in the 81st year of that state, because of ego, sector and tribalism, we split. We had a second chance the Second Temple period”.
He continued: “We are now in the eighth decade of the third opportunity. The common denominator for everyone who sits here is that we intend to get through this decade, and the hundreds and thousands, and live here with the eternity of Israel.”
According to Bennett, the security situation facing the government “is very complex and full of threats, but also full of tremendous opportunities”.
“The only way our enemies can overcome us is to give us a sense that we do not deserve to live in this country, to lose the power of faith in the justice of our path”, Bennett declared, concluding: “Chief of Staff, I know that it is very deep in what you are striving for.”