Netanyahu cabinet members reject two-state solution; call for annexation of occupied territories

Israel/Palestine
on 27 Comments

Over the weekend 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 crystallize a policy towards annexation. The proposals were unveiled at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s premier security forum where major government changes are often debuted—it was at this venue where the 2005 disengagement from Gaza was announced.

“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].”

“Racist Israeli top diplomats would not be able to make the statement that she is making if she knew that there would be consequences in the international arena,” Abu Eid said.


Also speaking at the conference, Education Minister Nafatli Bennett lauded Israeli annexation of occupied territory and focused on the Syrian area taken by Israel during 1967 war, the Golan Heights. “Enough of the kind of double standard. No one talks about Western Sahara or Cyprus they way they relate to the Golan Heights and all of them were areas that were occupied,” Bennett said. “Yes there is a controversy over Judea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank. There, I understand that we will have to agree to disagree,” he added.

Bennett, like Hotovley dismissed Palestinian statehood in the context of a two-state agreement, stressing, ”The world is promoting all sort of imaginary plans, their implementation will only bring more terror and missiles barraged on Israel.”

The officials’ speeches come at the same time that other Israeli leaders are speaking harshly against the Palestinian call for boycott sanctions and divestment (BDS) against Israel. Weeks ago Palestinian officials sought the ouster of Israel from FIFA, and official Israeli responses to BDS have continued, almost daily to date, often tied into a rebuff of Palestinian statehood.


Speaking in New York at the Jerusalem Post summit Yair Lapid conceded Sunday that the Israeli government is not interested in returning to negotiations. “Commitment to the two-state solution at this time is half-hearted, and doesn’t include the willingness to pay the political price that is needed to reach a deal , but that is a matter of political circumstances and not set conditions,” he said.

Yet Lapid remained personally hopeful for a broader regional approach to Middle East peace, which he claimed would reduce BDS pressure. For Lapid, as with many officials from the center political camps, the two-state solution is a demographics game, where an agreement must be reached in order to prevent a scenario where a one state would have a Jewish minority living with a Palestinian majority. “The state of Israel cannot absorb 3.5 million Palestinians,” he said, for which Lapid received applause.


Back in Herzliya, Lapid’s colleague the former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni expanded upon this view. She made an appeal for Israeli officials to change their mind, and support a two-state solution. “There are those that believe in the Greater Israel,” she said, “I believe that the price of that vision will lead to a situation wherein there will be one state between the sea and Jordan and it will not be a Jewish state, but one with an Arab majority. It will be an Arab state.”

Livni then asked her audience of decision-makers to abandon their claim of Jewish “rights on the land” in the West Bank. She argued letting go of the territories was essential to maintaining a “jewish and democratic state here, and it doesn’t have to be the whole one.” Livni stressed Israel should take measures to adopt a two-state platform with urgency to both neutralize boycott calls in the international area, and bridge relations with “moderate” Arab neighbors—a reference to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative where the Arab League offered to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for ending the occupation of the Palestinian territory.

Yet Livni was alone at Herzilya. The prevailing thought espoused on the stage by Netanyahu’s cabinet of advisers (which Livni is not a member) on boycotts, occupation and annexation was summed up by Bennett who called for 50,000 Jews to settle in the Golan. To Bennett building settlements to further the cause of annexation, “This is our answer to boycott,” he said.

To view all of the speeches made at the 15th IDC Herzilya Conference, click here

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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27 Responses

  1. HarryLaw
    June 9, 2015, 12:02 pm

    “I negate the idea of a two state-solution,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said ” Then she said “they have to recognize Israel as a jewish state and express their will to live alongside it”; Well which is it? If she wishes to annex the West Bank, it can only be one state, not two. Unless she means expulsion.

    • Sibiriak
      June 9, 2015, 1:36 pm

      HarryLaw: If she wishes to annex the West Bank, it can only be one state.

      ——————

      No. Annexing the West Bank, in whole or in part, leaves out Gaza entirely. That’s not “one state.”

      • HarryLaw
        June 9, 2015, 2:13 pm

        Sibiriak, you seem to be implying that the Palestinians who live in Gaza [which is under Israeli occupation] and is not a state in its own right nor does it wish to be, are not part of the Palestinian people with the same right to self determination as anyone else, and who have been recognized as an integral component of the Palestinian state, and recognized as such by the UNGA in that famous vote in 2012.

    • JWalters
      June 11, 2015, 7:12 pm

      This sounds like a declaration of war against the Palestinians living in the West Bank. Which would be consistent with Zionist policies since pre-1948.

      • Hostage
        June 11, 2015, 8:27 pm

        This sounds like a declaration of war against the Palestinians living in the West Bank.

        It’s a crime under customary international law without regard to whether or not there is a declaration of war:

        Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of article 2 [of the UN Charter], qualify as an act of aggression:

        (a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof, — United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) and “Article 8 bis Crime of aggression,” in the amended Rome Statute.

        In the ICC Prosecutor’s preliminary examination of the Comoros complaint regarding the attack on the Aid Flotilla the Prosecutor said that Gaza was still Israeli occupied territory and that war crimes had undoubtedly been committed, but she opted to leave prosecution up to the member states and Turkey owing to the “lack of gravity”. That decision is currently being appealed by Comoros. Nothing would prevent the Prosecutor from observing that an annexation amounted to the crime of aggression, and leaving prosecution up to the member states that can exercise jurisdiction over the offense.

        In Regina v. Jones (2006), the UK Law Lords spelled-out the proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. They said that: “It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure.”

        They “want to put Israel alongside al-Qaeda,” she said.

        No, the government of Israel deliberately put itself along side al-Qaeda, since it is providing Kahanist nutcase settler/terror groups with small arms, ammunition, subsidies, utilities, and IDF protection. See “Prosecuting Persons Doing Business with Armed Groups in Conflict Areas, The Strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court”, by Reinhold Gallmetzer Appeals Counsel, Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and coordinator of its Law Enforcement Network:

        This article sets out the strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with respect to investigations and prosecutions of persons who illegally finance armed groups in conflict areas or provide them with weapons or ammunition. In accordance with this strategy, the OTP is considering prosecuting such person(s) before the ICC. The OTP has further decided to actively support national proceedings related to the work of the ICC, including proceedings against persons supporting armed groups in conflict areas. To that end, the OTP has recently initiated a network with national law enforcement agencies and other specialized institutions and organizations to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of multiple national and international actors by exchanging evidence, mutually supporting investigations and by sharing expertise.

        http://jicj.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/3/947.abstract

  2. amigo
    June 9, 2015, 12:57 pm

    You gotta laugh at these morons who run Israel.

    OTOH , some of them are demanding the EU not put into force the law that would force labeling of all products made in the occupied Territories.Also , another Israeli minister is demanding that the French Gov fire the CEO of Orange.We also have efforts to re-ingnite the so called peace talks and here we have the knesset discussing the illegal annexation of the West Bank.

    Yes , world , if the Palestinians would only stop their violence they could have a state.

    • Laurent Weppe
      June 10, 2015, 3:28 am

      some of them are demanding the EU not put into force the law that would force labeling of all products made in the occupied Territories.Also , another Israeli minister is demanding that the French Gov fire the CEO of Orange

      Summarized: Dear Europe: we know you’re several dozen times more numerous, wealthier and more powerful than we are, but you’re going to do what we order you to do dammit!

  3. Citizen
    June 9, 2015, 3:19 pm

    Ugh

    • just
      June 9, 2015, 4:57 pm

      Double ugh.

      Ah well, they’re entirely shameless and unhinged in public now. I really hope that US sanctions come, and soon.

      The fact that exiled- from- the – cabinet Livni appears slightly sane is really very telling.

      • weiss
        June 10, 2015, 1:41 am

        Only slightly “sane” considering she spearheaded the Operation Cast Lead massacre of 1400 people.

  4. a blah chick
    June 9, 2015, 7:40 pm

    “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.

    What the hell is talking about? Does it make more sense in hebrew?

    “(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. ”

    So, you break into my house and throw me out into my backyard. When I try to get back in you come at me with an assault rifle; your great grandparent use to live in this house and now you’re taking it back. As I lay bleeding under a tree you come out and present me with a paper to sign, saying I agree to surrender my house to you and in exchange you’ll let me live in a tent in a fenced in corner of the yard. Maybe.

    Now I ask you, who wouldn’t take that sweet deal?

    • ziusudra
      June 10, 2015, 1:11 am

      Greeting a blah chick,
      ……Israelis must act in loyalty to a Jewish State……..

      That is extending the yoke of enslavement that is already upon them in the existence of how they must fullfill their religious commitments.
      This last act will cement them politically & socially in the web that the ancient Judaic Clergy spun them into w/o Kingship since 586BC.
      Now the State will work in cohoots with the Clergy to root out anyone who doesn’t agree with their totalitarian methods.
      ziusudra

    • Laurent Weppe
      June 10, 2015, 3:35 am

      What the hell is talking about? Does it make more sense in hebrew?

      She’s not talking in Hebrew, she’s talking in Wingnutglot, which has been the language of decadent patricians since the days of ancient Sumer.

      Allow me to translate:
      By openly stating that the members of the privilege classes are benefiting from criminal practices, the downtrodden are demonstrating that deep down, they want to exterminate the upper classes in retaliation for the harm done to them, therefore, they must be violently put down, crushed into submission, beaten until fear of pain override their desire for revenge otherwise We the privileged will be on the receiving end of the next dekulikization

      • Kris
        June 10, 2015, 10:35 am

        Thank you for the excellent translation, Laurent Weppe.

  5. RoHa
    June 9, 2015, 9:05 pm

    “a just society that is loyal to the principles of a Jewish state”

    How is that possible? The principles of a Jewish state exclude justice.

  6. RoHa
    June 9, 2015, 9:09 pm

    “He added that if the PLO were to make pronouncements on creating one-state based off of religious literature,”

    Surely he meant “based on religious literature”!

  7. RoHa
    June 9, 2015, 9:14 pm

    O.K. Annex the lot. Then what?

  8. Sulphurdunn
    June 9, 2015, 9:16 pm

    Israeli rightists are no different than any other kind. Regardless of who they are their solution to every problem is aggression.

  9. traintosiberia
    June 9, 2015, 10:03 pm

    One of the reason Hamas hasn’t been engaged or delisted from terror list by Israel,US and by US and west is the refusal to admit” Israel’s right to exist”
    One of the reason Iran was on the sanction list is apparent refusal to agree to Oslo .
    That argument was killed by neocon in Bush cabinet.
    But what about the right of ” Palestnian to exist”?

    • ziusudra
      June 10, 2015, 12:50 am

      Greetings Train to S.,
      ……Hamas must recognize the State of Israel……

      Hamas is part of the Palestinian entity where Israel, as far back as Golda Meir, states that Palestinians don’t exist.
      Why does Israel want recognition from a non existant People?
      ziusudra

      • Kay24
        June 10, 2015, 6:27 am

        Excellent comment and question Ziusudra.

        Imagine an occupier wanting the occupied to “recognize” it, yet does not allow them their freedom and agree to give them statehood. Only in the delusional world of zionists.

  10. traintosiberia
    June 9, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Back to the reservation . Netanyahu wandered off to fend off US ‘s reaction after the election promises to get the most vote ( one has to get to the right of Netanyahu on Iran,Syria,and Palestnie or 2 state to get more votes ) . Bennett said same .
    44 % Israrlis in 2003 didn’t want 2 state or 1 state. They wanted expulsion ( Linda S Heard in Countrrpunch.com)
    CIA ranked Israel below Libya in it’s readiness to help in the US led fight against terrprism( http://www.sfgate.com- US sees Israel tight Middle East ally as spy threat)
    American Jews would theoretically like to support 2 state solution but they have a different problem. They don’t believe anything on Arab,peace,2 state or negotiations unless these are vetted by Israel or believed by the major Jewish organizations in US, The sources that shape their opinions are the think tank,letter head organization,lobby, like AIPAC,JINSA, WINEP, AEI, Israeli Project, FDD, ,UANI, Stand with Israel and columnists like Krauthammer,Podohoretz, Kristol, magazines like Tablet,Commentary, media like Fox and WSJ and NYT

    Despite 1982, 2002’and 2006 Saudi proposals and despite Fullbright’s 1970 proposal of total security for Israel in exchange for land or despite Roger Morris ( 1973) proposal of 1949 armistice line as border with security and despite Hamas de facto recognition of Israel within 1967 border. American Jewish believe(82% ) that goal of the Arab is not return of occupied territories but destruction of Israel. ( James Petra) and 58 % don’t support compromise on Jetusalem.

    Netanyhu is tapping into a rich effective vocal powerful block with money access to media,access to administration to give shape to the subconsciois encrypted message that bind Israeli Jews,American Jews and the majotJewish organizations .

    • mohandeer
      June 10, 2015, 9:47 am

      But they have only limited sway with the US. Any US citizen can boycott Israeli goods as we do in the UK. Add to this that the rest of Europe cannot be controlled in the same way and can and will continue BDS what is the point of expending so much energy for so little return? There are 139 countries in the UN, many of whom are already boycotting and divesting and sanctioning Israel. As a consequence of the US veto used so many times to protect Israel from War Crime charges, and a whole lot more, many people now feel that the US should leave the UN and take their money elsewhere.

  11. Talkback
    June 10, 2015, 4:24 am

    I dont’ understand the suprise or uproar. It’s Zionism 101.

    Whether Hertzl, San Remo, the Biltmore Conference, Ben Gurion’s proposal to UNSCOP or what was implemented by force since 1948 in 80% and since 1967 in the rest of Palestine.

    The only difference is that THESE right extremist war criminals and human rights violaters talk more open about it and demonstrate that they don’t fear any repercussions.

    The only way to counter this form of Apartheid is BDS, as long as the US is immunizing Israel with its vetoes, but:

    Obama Planning Drastic Shake-Up in Policy Toward Israel
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/israel-un-security-council-veto/2015/03/19/id/631103/

  12. Boo
    June 10, 2015, 11:24 am

    “Bennett called for 50,000 Jews to settle in the Golan. To Bennett building settlements to further the cause of annexation, ‘This is our answer to boycott,’ he said.”

    Shel Adelson knows this as “doubling down”. It’s a very low-percentage tactic. Those who succumb to its lure generally end up bankrupt.

  13. diasp0ra
    June 11, 2015, 12:04 pm

    Annex us already. The PA and PLO are weak and under too much pressure, they would never have the courage to switch to a one state paradigm even though it’s the only “solution” that makes any sense anymore.

    With the annexation of the West Bank Israel is signing its own death warrant. As it would either have to give us equal rights or be even more of an Apartheid state, except this time they can’t hide behind the technicalities of “occupied/disputed” territories and Israel proper.

    I find it ironic that people like this think that they are protecting Israel, but in the long run they are just strengthening our position for one state. I’m glad that Netanyahu won the elections and is continuing along this fundamentalist path to isolation, otherwise it would have postponed the inevitable for another 10 years or so.

  14. TRG-42
    June 13, 2015, 4:51 am

    Peace and two-state solutions never was on the zionists’ real agenda. Poopy Netanyahu and his co-criminals just have become overtly confident that they no longer need to hide their real intentions, and any international opposition can be overcome with ease, deception, false flag operations, manipulation of the media, and outright bribery.

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