Mofaz. 'Internal problems to worsen'
Photo: Ido Erez
Braverman. 'Arab state with Jewish minority'
Photo: Dana Kopel
Oron. 'Jerusalem will have two capitals'
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Mofaz: Freeze a major strategic mistake

Kadima's No. 2 warns that after new settlement construction moratorium, Israel will be required to accept 'another one and another one.' It's time for big moves, he says, adding that 'waiting for core issues will only lead to 20 years of conflict'

Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said Thursday evening that the new settlement construction freeze being discussed these days is a "major strategic mistake".


Speaking at a conference organized by the Geneva Initiative, Mofaz said that the building freeze "has become a precondition for negotiations, although not progress whatsoever has been made in the negotiation."


The former IDF chief wanted that if Israel agreed to another 90-day construction moratorium, as requested by the American administration, "after these three months are over it will be asked to accept another freeze and another freeze."


He stressed that "we will not pull through before a decision is made on stabilizing the borders and the security arrangements."

'Freeze after freeze.' Mofaz at conference (Photo: Ido Erez)


According to Mofaz, Israel is facing a very important junction, which will either lead it to a long-term diplomatic agreement or a serious conflict which the Jewish state will win, but which will claim a heavy price in blood and postpone the peace process by many years.


"Then, we will be forced to reach the same point," he clarified. Mofaz said "major moves" were needed, linking between the peace process and Israel's internal problems.


"Today young people cannot buy a house, the poverty in Israel is only expanding, and 20% of Israel's population lives under the poverty line," he noted. "If we don't take major moves – it will grow.


"In order to make higher education and technologies accessible to any person in this country, in order for the middle class' social-economic status not to wear out, in order to guarantee a home for young people in Israel – we must reach a peace process. Israel's constant state of anxiousness does not allow it."


'Hamas will rule West Bank'

The MK warned that "anyone waiting for the core issues can add 20 more years of conflict. We must lead a major move."


He said that his political plan would be implemented within a short time and lead to a change of atmosphere on both sides, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas receiving more than 60% of the West Bank territories and having 99% of the Palestinian population under his control.


"He will be able to establish a state with a territorial sequence from Jenin to Hebron, apart from east Jerusalem."


According to Mofaz, time is not in both sides' favor. "The Palestinian Authority may grow weaker, and we may wake up into a reality in which Hamas controls the West Bank as well and the 60,000 Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria – which live outside the large settlement blocs – will turn into 100,000 and it will be even more difficult to get them to resettle elsewhere."


He added that resettling the 60,000 residents of isolated settlements in one move as part of the permanent agreement would be unrealistic.


Minister for Strategic Affairs Avishay Braverman warned during the conference that "without a peace process, the State of Israel will become an Arab state with a Jewish minority. Everything points to that – the demographic indicators, the decline in America's power, and the rise in the power of India and China. We are slowly descending to hell."


Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron said during the conference that "the only partner we have in the world is the Palestinian partner. We must accept an exchange of land at a 1:1 ratio within the 1967 borders, and understand that Jerusalem will have two capitals for both people."


He stressed that it would be crucial to come up with a solution for the refugee problem as an essential part of the conflict, and that the solution would be the refugees' return to the Palestinian state rather than to the State of Israel.



פרסום ראשון: 11.18.10, 19:37
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