Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Israeli Government Ministers - Palestinians Want State on Israel's Ruins

by David Bedein

Senior members of Israel’s government delivered a clear message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama this week during a seminar in the Israeli Knesset on the subject of finding alternatives to the two-state solution.

“The Palestinian goal is not a state within the 1967 borders, but rather a Palestinian state on the ruins of the State of Israel,” Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon, who convened the seminar, told the large gathering of opponents of having an independent Palestinian state.

Mr. Yaalon, who served as commander in chief of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2001 to 2005, emphasized his seminar was “not a gathering of rebels,” but was intended to support the prime minister. The signal to Mr. Netanyahu, however, was clear.

Over 200 participants, many of whom remained outside the auditorium due to lack of room, attended the gathering, which was held at Israel’s Knesset on Tuesday.

The Strategic Affairs Minister said he did not see any chance an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, or in the Gaza Strip, would be able to maintain an independent economy or be able to maintain its internal security.

Mr. Yaalon referred to the experience gained from Israel’s total withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005, which occurred two months after former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon removed him as IDF chief.

“It could be presumed with certainty that any territory that Israel would evacuate in Judea and Samaria would immediately turn into a second Hamastan,” Mr. Yaalon said.

Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai told the seminar attendees Israel should stop trying to seek favor in the eyes of the world and work to get them to see the truth.

“The Palestinians are not even willing to recognize the state of the Jewish people, because they want to eliminate the Jewish people,” Mr. Yishai said.

Former Israel National Security Council director Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland said, commenting on the seminar, that an independent Palestinian state would not be an ideal solution for the Palestinians.

“Many senior Palestinian figures would support the idea of establishing a Palestinian confederation under Jordanian rule. They realize that a Palestinian state would be controlled by Hamas and would prefer to be under Jordanian rule,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Eilan said.

Following the seminar, some members of Israel’s Knesset suggested turning Jordan into a Palestinian state, which Israeli President Shimon Peres called “ridiculous,” even though he is not supposed to express himself politically in his non-partisan position.

After Mr. Peres’ comment, Jordan’s ambassador to Israel filed an official complaint against the government of Israel for allowing a member of Israel’s Knesset to suggest replacing the Jordanian kingdom with a Palestinian state.

View this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
View this story at Israel Behind the News

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