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Israeli PM pledges Iran will no longer be untouchable

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says even if there is a nuclear agreement with Iran, "it will not bind us."
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the Jerusalem Post's annual coference, Jerusalem, Oct. 12, 2021.

The Israeli military is on an accelerated shopping spree that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett described as a “period of unprecedented buildup.” The new acquisitions include missiles, rockets, ammunition, refueling aircraft, development of laser-based interceptor systems, offensive and defensive cybertools, restocking of supplies, and so on. The additional defense spending allocations follow two years of political tumult that held up approval of a new state budget and rearmament plans. In a series of interviews last week with Al-Monitor and other media, Bennett explained the goal of this buildup.

Judging by these interviews, seven months after assuming office, Bennett is starting to feel comfortable in his new perch despite widespread political criticism and poor polling. His self-confidence has skyrocketed and he is also buoyed by the failure of recent negotiations on a plea bargain in the corruption trial of his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu. A plea deal banning Netanyahu from political office for at least seven years could have melted the glue holding together the ideologically disparate parties of Bennett’s coalition government. For now, such an agreement is off the table.

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