Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi, continues to advance a proposal for the annexation of parts of the West Bank. Bennett, it seems, is not pinning his hopes on the current president of the United States or any other conservative figure to fulfill his pro-settler vision. He is not betting that Sheldon Adelson, the right-wing Jewish American gambling tycoon, will suggest to his good friend Donald Trump that he forget about the “ultimate deal” he promised to make between Israelis and Palestinians.
Bennett is also not counting on the claim that God gave the Jews the Land of Israel, stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. In addition, unlike his settler friends who adopted at face value that “our future lies not in what the Gentiles will say, but in what the Jews will do” — a famous saying by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion — Bennett takes seriously both the Gentiles and homegrown Israeli left-wingers. In fact, Bennett is taking what he estimates to be a pragmatic approach.