Israeli Economics Minister Naftali Bennett does not believe that creating a Palestinian state will lead to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli Economics Minister Naftali Bennett has stated that the idea of a Palestinian state has reached a dead end and should be abandoned by the international community. He believes that the Palestinian Authority has declared all of Israel to be occupied Palestine a position which is impossible for the Israeli government to make peace with. Bennett claimed, “Never has so much time been invested in something so pointless. We need to build, build, build! If the money spent on caviar in cocktail parties dealing with the idea of a Palestinian state would have been used for building interchanges (in the territories) – everything would be different.”
He continued, “There has never been a Palestinian state here. We need to change our conception and say we’re here because it’s our home. We need to start thinking about how we conduct ourselves from now on, with that concept behind us. We need to go from a situation in which we try to convince people that it is a bad idea, to one in which this idea is behind us.” Historically speaking, the Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel, have been living in the Holy Land throughout history and have a deep historical connection to Judea and Samaria, as well as to the Holy City of Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital city.
Bennett explained, “The way to deal with the Palestinian problem is to establish separate rule for [West Bank] Palestinians, Israeli sovereignty over Area C and a broad improvement in economic conditions for Judea and Samaria for Jews and Palestinians alike. Anyone who travels around Judea and Samaria knows that what they say in the hallways of Oslo and Annapolis is detached from reality.” According to Bennett, “There are 400,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria, and another 250,000 in eastern Jerusalem. More than 10% of the residents of Israel live in what is called the Green Line. The attempt to establish a Palestinian state inside our land is over.” He furthermore noted, in response to certain Israeli Knesset members complaining about Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, “Those who dare say that the occupation corrupts and talk about occupation all day, what occupation are they talking about? How can you be an occupier in your own home? This is our home.”
Bennett compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to bomb fragments that could not be separated from the Land of Israel, since a two-state solution would cause permanent damage to the State of Israel. For this reason, he believes that annexation is the lesser of two evils. “I have a friend who’s got shrapnel in his rear end, and he’s been told that it can be removed surgically but it would leave him disabled,” said Bennett. “So he decided to live with it. There are situations where insisting on perfection can lead to more trouble than it’s worth.”
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett’s recent statements follow those made by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who stated that Israel’s government will oppose the two-state solution and do every thing in its power to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. However, Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin claimed that such ideas did not represent the views of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who remains committed to the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state on parts of Judea and Samaria. Elkin claims that while the present Israeli government includes people like Bennett, there are also people like Tzippi Livni in the coalition government, whose views are diametrically opposed to Bennett’s.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel