Having failed to make it to the Knesset again after breaking with the former Jewish Home party, outgoing Education Minister Naftali Bennett made what appeared to be his good-bye speech Thursday night. Bennett, speaking at the annual Israel Prize ceremony that concludes Independence Day, said that “I merited to lead the efforts to educate Israeli children for the past four years – all children, including secular, chareidi and religious, Jews and Arabs, Bedouin, Druze and Circassians.”
Bennett said that he “got to know wonderful teachers, administrators, and school officials. We succeeded together. After a decade in which grades fell in math, science and English, we changed the direction and we have begun to skyrocket. The skills our children are learning in these areas will assure their future success.
“I want to express deep gratitude to them, to Israelis, and to Hashem for enabling me to do this job,” he said. “I did the best I could for you, and for the nation I love. There is much work to do, and there are good people, no less good than I, to do it. You are in good hands” with the next education minister, Bennett said.
Hinting at his own political future, Bennett said that “we have no other country. We must all embrace it tightly. We will support it with all our might, and remain united. I promise that wherever I am, I will never stop doing what I can for the Jewish people.”