Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen.
I thank you for the opportunity to speak before you here, in the capital of the Free World. Some 18 years ago, the Middle East experienced a dramatic change. A secret process of dialogue culminated in the signing of the Oslo Accords and later the Cairo Agreements. A new entity joined the region: The Palestinian Authority. Since then, we embarked on many rounds of dialogue and military confrontation. During this time, Israel undertook several military withdrawals, in line with agreements, as well as one comprehensive, unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and from Gush Katif communities.
At the end of almost two decades, we can clearly declare that this was a historic mistake; a resounding failure. The good intentions of Israeli leaders at the time led to hell. The Oslo Accords brought bereavement, sorrow, uprooting and terror to the region. Should a Palestinian state be recognized in September by the UN General Assembly, it shall mark the most blatant, fundamental and cheeky violation of these agreements. I hereby announce that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood will prompt me to immediately suspend my declaration in the Bar-Ilan Speech regarding “two states for two peoples.”
Osama bin Laden’s supporters and admirers already have a wild mini-state in Gaza. Do we wish to establish yet another bin Laden-style terror state right at our doorstop? Do we fail to understand that the time has come to distinguish between good and evil, and between a modern, creative world that seeks progress and peace and a dark, threatening Islamic world that despises all the values we share in the Free World?
We extend our hand for peace, and mostly for understanding. Yet the focal point of the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians stems from their desire to replace us, rather than to live alongside us. Please note: They do settle for a state in line with the 1967 borders, which would constitute a grave danger in and of itself. Even from within such tiny state they will continue to educate and act in a bid to defeat Israel with their illusions of returning and infiltrating its borders.
Hence, if a Palestinian state will be declared, heaven forbid, Israel – the world’s only Jewish State – will then consider itself absolved of all its Oslo Accords pledges. We shall demand and realize our just rights in our homeland in Judea and Samaria, our ancestral land. The Jewish people’s right of return to Shilo, Hebron, Jerusalem and Bethlehem is no lesser than any Palestinian right. This is not just the “West Bank” – first and foremost it is the Hebrew Bank; the Israeli Bank.
While we insist on our rights, we shall not rest on the diplomatic front. We have always agreed to sit with our enemies at the table, but we never agreed to serve as their dinner. My government shall offer the Palestinians and the entire world a new diplomatic model. We were horrified to discover that the Oslo path is not the right path, but rather, the abyss. The time has come to rethink the region’s future, a future that does not necessarily include an Islamist, malicious Palestinian state, but rather, other solutions that are creative, fair, and mostly practical.
We shall offer a regional solution to the refugee problem: Resettling them at their place of residence, so that people shall not maintain their refugee status forever. We shall offer wide-ranging programs that will assist the Palestinians in ending their state of distress. We shall discuss with our neighbors, Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom, their participation in monitoring and policing forces in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip.
Let us consider a new regional order; realistic co-existence instead of a new Middle East and other illusions. Let us do it with open eyes and with a sober look. Let us decide, in coordination with the United States of America, where to fully apply Israeli sovereignty and where to allow the Palestinian entity to rule. We shall offer intermediate arrangements as well as humane and economic solutions in conjunction with the other states of the world in order to resolve the refugee camp issue. We shall offer new ways to express Palestinian political rights via citizenship in neighboring countries and in the Palestinian Authority.
The whole Jerusalem shall not be divided, but we shall look into ways of upgrading accessibility to the sites that are holy to all religions, while safeguarding our security. Let us reconsider all the issues through a new path and with original thinking. We shall offer livelihood and limited self-rule, we shall propose realistic co-existence, and we shall improve freedom of movement. We shall no longer offer a Palestinian state, but rather, the separate, in depth handling of each and every issue.
We seek peace, my friends in this House, but even before living in peace, we seek to live.
Knesset Member Uri Orbach, Chairman of HaBait HaYehudi faction
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