Finance Minister Yair Lapid
criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
demand that Palestinian recognition of Israel
as the Jewish state be a condition for a future peace deal.
"I don’t think we need a declaration from the Palestinians that they recognize Israel as the Jewish state," the minister told Charlie Rose in an interview for the Bloomberg network on Wednesday. "My father did not come to Haifa from the Budapest ghetto to be recognized by Abu Mazen (Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas)."
"Yes, I want Israel to be a Jewish state," Lapid told his interviewer. "But the reason I think the two-state solution is the only offer on the table is that if we continue to rule over three or four million Palestinians Israel's identity will fade away. Therefore we have to separate ourselves from the Palestinians."
Yair Lapid interviewed by Charlie Rose
The Yesh Atid
chairman added that "We have to give the Palestinians a state of their own, with clear borders. On that him (Netanyahu) and I agree. I don't agree with him – publicly and privately, since we talk a lot – that we need a declaration from the Palestinians that they recognize Israel as the Jewish state."
According to Lapid, "all the recognition we need is that which we recognize ourselves, after 2,000 years that we depended on others."
Conversely, Netanyahu posits this recognition as a necessary condition for the conflict to resolve. In a speech in Bar-Ilan University several days ago, Netanyahu reiterated the demand for recognition and insisted the occupation did not create the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "For me it started in 1921, the day the Arabs attacked Beit Haolim in Jaffa," he said.
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