Bennett is referred to by many as “the crook” due to his reneging on almost all the statements and pledges he made while campaigning.
By: Aryeh Savir
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s participation in an upcoming event at the community of Elkana in Samaria is sparking controversy and generating protests against his participation, with residents telling Bennett – “stay away.”
Bennett is planning to participate in an event celebrating the town’s 45th anniversary. However, residents say that his visit is “an attempt to cynically exploit the residents of Elkana and make political capital, while Bennett’s government violates the state’s Jewish and Zionist values on a daily basis.”
Residents have launched a petition stating that “we, the residents of Elkana, call on our friend, the head of the council, Assaf Mintzer, to immediately cancel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s expected visit to Elkana.
“We see the visit as a foolish attempt to cynically exploit the residents of Elkana and make political capital, all at a time when Mr. Bennett’s government is violating the state’s Jewish and Zionist values on a daily basis.”
Hours after its launch, over 500 residents signed the petition, over 10% of the town’s some 4,000 residents.
Similarly, a group of the town’s youth staged a demonstration outside Mintzer’s home demanding that he cancel Bennett’s visit.
They called on Mintzer to “prevent the crook from reaching Elkana.” Bennett is referred to by many as “the crook” due to his reneging on almost all the statements and pledges he made while campaigning.
The residents have scheduled another protest for Tuesday.
Mintzer authored a letter to the residents in which he stated that Bennett requested to participate in the event “to pay a state visit, to honor the community of Elkana, its residents and founders.”
“It is important to clarify that this is a state visit by the Prime Minister and not a political one, and as such we will be very honored and celebrate with the Israeli prime minister 45 years of pioneering and Zionism in Elkana,” he wrote.
Bennett, the former head of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization for communities in Judea and Samaria, has refrained from visiting the region since entering office almost a year ago, out of apparent fear of encountering the rage of the residents.
He visited the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division, adjacent to Beit El, in April, and was met by protestors outside the base.