I was surprised to read in JewishPress.com, Yair Shamir’s article, where he states that he opposes a Palestinian state.
I was surprised, because over Shabbat, I read in Makor Rishon an interview with his party’s leader, Avigdor Liberman, where Liberman explicitly stated that he would support the uprooting of settlements that aren’t inside settlement blocs, in exchange for peace, including his own home in Nokdim, Gush Etzion.
Liberman continued on to say that peace isn’t possible under the current conditions, only because Abbas isn’t a partner,.
But that last line is more than a bit disingenuous, because on Sunday, I read that Liberman said that seeking a two-state solution will be an important element of the next government.
Like Shamir, Liberman also said that he is also opposed to a Palestinian state.
But as I understand him, Liberman says he supports the creation of autonomous, demilitarized Palestinian areas, or alternatively two states with population transfers. I’m not sure what the differences between any of these plans are at this point. If it walks like a Palestinian duck…
I’ve also heard rumors that Liberman is angry at Shamir for something he recently said. Perhaps it was about opposing the Palestinian state, without adding on the autonomous area bit? Or perhaps it was for attacking Netanyahu for supporting the two-state solution.
I don’t know.
The bottom line is that Liberman has explicitly stated that he accepts the dismantling of settlements, and he will be actively pushing for a resolution based on a two-state solution in his next term, and he openly accepts that uprooting Jews will or at least may be part of that solution.
And to top it off, now there are reports that Netanyahu has delayed E1, by “hesitating” to approve the projects there, and not filing them. That’s a worrisome development.
I don’t know much about Shamir’s actual positions, and whether or not he stands 100% behind Liberman, but since its Liberman and Netanyahu who are setting policy, and not Shamir, I am honestly concerned that a vote for Likud-Beytenu is a vote to expel Jews from their homes.
It’s unfortunate, because there are so many important issues on the Yisrael Beytenu agenda that they want to deal with, such as reforming the electoral system, Hareidi integration, and so on. But instead, Liberman chose to insert a red line like this into his party’s position.
Yesterday, Naftali Bennett, was attacked for his position on not uprooting Jews. He wisely responded that all the Jewish parties should sign an affidavit that they won’t expel Jews. He received cheers and applause for saying that. And his party is only going up because of it.
The bottom line is this.
The Israeli people do not want any more Jews uprooted, and the Israeli people do not believe that pulling back to any variation of the ’67 lines will bring peace with the Arabs.
It’s unfortunately quite clear that Netanyahu and Liberman do not see eye to eye anymore with what most of the population wants or believes is good for us, and it’s only because the Likud list is a pretty good list, that Likud-Beytenu hasn’t dropped even further or faster.
Expelling Jews is a red line, and no matter what other benefits Likud-Beytenu may bring, it’s a red line that they’ve told us they may very well cross.
Netanyahu and Liberman need to come out and explicitly state that under no circumstances will Jews be expelled during their term in power.
That’s my red line.