World Jewish News
Israel's Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (R) speaking to a group of European journalists in Tel Aviv.
Israel's cabinet minister: 'The two-state solution is not dead'
‘’The two state-solution is not dead. When we will realize that there is a real partner for peace we are ready to make concessions,’’ an Israeli cabinet minister told European journalists on a press trip to Israel.
Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairsn and a senior figure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, stressed that ‘’ we have to know that we are paying a price for peace and do not make concessions just to get only terror attacks in return.’’
‘’Unfortunetaly since 2009, Palestinians refuse to go to the negotiating table. Six Israeli Prime Ministers have recognized the Palestinians’ right to statehood while they refuse to recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people,’’ he told the 15 journalists who are on a 4-day trip to learn about Israel’s geopolitical challenges. The trip is organized by Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA).
Erdan criticized the EU for putting only pressure on Israel. ‘’By doing so the EU push the Palestinians to believe that i twill force the State of Israel to sign an agreement. How can we imagine that the problem is Israel ?.’’
The minister, who was at the forefront last week to deal with fires that raged across Israel, some of them being arson attacks, also rebuffed those who argue that the settlements are the main issue of the conflict with the Palestinians. ‘’All the settlements together make less than 3% of the West Bank,’’ he mentioned.
‘’This can be negotiated,’’ he said. ‘’On the other side, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas encourages the cuture of hate. The PA pays salaries to those who committed deadly attacks against Israelis. ‘’We ask your governments to make sure that the money that they send to the PA is really being used to help the Palestinians,’’ Erdan told the reporters.
During their visit, the 15 journalists from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Greece, Austria, Britain and Romania, also met Tzipi Livni, one of the leaders of the opposition, who stressed that ‘’one state solution would represent the end of Israel as a Jewish State.’’ ‘’I am prepared to divide the land without saying who has more rights, without placibn one narrative above the other. My vision as a Zionist Jew and Israeli is to accept the idea of two states fortwo peoples in order to keep the Jewish character of Israel. There is a need to end the ongoing conflict,’’ she said.
Besides being briefed by high ranking IDF officers on the situation of Israel within the regional context, the journalists toured the Lebanon border, visited the Ziv hospital in Safed where Syrians wounded in the war are treated and met residents of a kibbutz located on the Gaza border.