Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hotovely laments Likud 'schizophrenia' on two states


Existence of Jordan is a compromise, deputy minister says, speaking out against conceding land.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely talks tough.
Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely talks tough. Photo: LAHAV HARKOV
The Likud's position on a two-state solution remained vague, as became readily apparent at a Wednesday night event for young party members featuring a debate between Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Likud activist and Jerusalem Institute for Justice Deputy Director-General Eli Hazan Wednesday evening.

"There's schizophrenia in our movement, with people pulling us this way and that," Hotovely said. "Political reporters love to write that we lack vision, and no party can allow itself that luxury."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's party did not have a platform in the last election, and as such, does not have an official position on a two-state solution. Netanyahu says he favors the foundation of a demilitarized Palestinian State as part of a peace settlement, while many of the party's ministers and MKs have come out against such a move.

"The Bar-Ilan Speech [in which Netanyahu first expressed support for Palestinian statehood] was never authorized by the Likud. Members of our movement never agreed to found a Palestinian state. Certainly [Likud ideological forebear Ze'ev Jabotinsky] never agreed that another country would exist in the Land of Israel," Hotovely said.

Hotovely emphasized her ideology that the Greater Land of Israel must remain part of Israel, pointing out that Jabotinsky advocated a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River and that "the existence of Jordan is a historic compromise."
"Whoever believes in the Greater Land of Israel has never been prepared to give parts of our homeland away for any purpose, not even for peace," she said.
According to Hotovely, Israel should annex Judea and Samaria and give Palestinians Israeli citizenship. She said she is unafraid of Israel becoming a binational, as opposed to Jewish, state as the government would also declare Jewish immigration as a national goal. Hotovely advocates the government launch an intensive campaign for a million Jews from around the world to make aliya.

If the two parts of her plan are implemented, Hotovely says, Israeli Arabs will be 25 percent of the population, 5% more than they are now.

Hazan took issue with Hotovely's proposal, saying that Israel will not successfully bring a million Jews to Israel because of what he called souring relations with non-Orthodox Jewry.

In addition, Hazan said he does not want to give Palestinians citizenship.
"Look at Lod; relations between Jews and Arabs are catastrophic. Look at French Hill, Pisgat Ze'ev [in Jerusalem]; Jewish girls are afraid to go out in the street," Hazan said. "I'm a Jewish racist and I'm not embarrassed to say I want a Jewish State with a Jewish majority."

According to Hazan, "Netanyahu gave the Bar-Ilan Speech because he realized we can't continue the current situation."

"The prime minister presented terms for statehood that would be difficult for the Palestinians. Like Jabotinsky, he said the Arabs need to accept the fact that we're here and we're not leaving," Hazan stated.

Hazan concluded his speech by saying that the difference between Likud advocacy of two states as opposed to Labor or Yesh Atid is that only Netanyahu can be trusted not to concede too much.

Hotovely and Hazan spoke at the Jabotinsky Institute, which occupies the lower floors of the Likud's headquarters in Tel Aviv, to a crowd made up mostly of enthusiastic party members in their early twenties, including groups from Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University.

The Deputy Transportation Minister said she was "amazed" to learn that 50,000 Likud members are under 35 - like Hotovely herself - and asked those at the conference for ideas on how to revive young activism in the party.
"Young people are responsible for forming our party's ideological vision," she stated.

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