Israel’s right-wing politicians and key advisers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet laid the groundwork to formally abandon a two-state solution with the Palestinians and call instead for annexation of the occupied territories.
The proposals were unveiled at the Herzliya Conference over the weekend.
“I negate the idea of a two state-solution,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said. As Israel’s chief foreign relations official, Hotovely is responsible for representing Israel if negotiations with the Palestinians were to resume. She spoke at length claiming Palestinian actions over recent months to boycott Israel at FIFA, and their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state show the Palestinians are in no mood for a peace deal. They “want to put Israel alongside al-Qaeda,” she said
“More than the Palestinians want a solution they want to actually put the Israelis on a bench to be accused and caught. In other words, their ethos is a negative ethos,” she said. Hotovely then read a roster of new principles that the Palestinians, Israelis, and the broader Middle East would need to meet in order for Israel to be receptive to a future Palestinian state, inserting redlines never discussed in previous peace talks: (1) Israelis must act as “a just society that is loyal to the principles of a Jewish state”; (2) The Palestinians must, “instead of suicide and education towards terror they have to recognize Israel as a jewish state and express their will to live alongside it; (3) Arab countries hosting Palestinian refugee camps must dismantle the infrastructure and absorb the displaced.
Hotovely closed by stating her opinion was that the Palestinians and Arab countries would not meet these tenets, therefore the issue of two-states was closed with the Palestinians to blame.
In response, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Xavier Abu Eid told Mondoweiss, “she [Hotovely] is basically saying that the solution for our conflict is to have the Palestinians disappear.” Abu Eid indicated that the PLO has not been contacted by the new Netanyahu government with any offer to return to the negotiating table. Hotovely’s speech was the first statement he had heard from Israel’s foreign ministry on their plans. He added that if the PLO were to make pronouncements on creating one-state based off of religious literature, which Hotovely did last week when discussing Greater Israel, that the Palestinians in turn “would be linked to Da’esh [ISIS].”
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