Minister Gideon Sa'ar
Photo: Yaron Brenner
During his 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support of a two-state solution, but fellow Likud member Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar clarified ahead of the upcoming elections that the ruling party does not support the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"Two states for two peoples was never part of (Likud's) election platform," Sa'ar said during an interview at Ynet's studio on Monday.
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"There is no Palestinian partner because the Palestinians want to prolong the conflict," said the minister, who is placed third on Likud-Beiteinu's list of candidates for the 19th Knesset.
Sa'ar said that during the Bar-Ilan address Netanyahu essentially listed the conditions for Israel's willingness to negotiate – as specified by former Israeli prime ministers – with certain limitations.
"There is currently no Palestinian partner to end the conflict because they wish to prolong it, and at a time when they want to continue the conflict there is no room to establish a state for them, because then they will be able to continue the conflict from a better position. If they return to the negotiation table, all the issues related to the negotiations will be put on the table," the minister told Ynet.
Sa'ar went on to criticize Naftali Bennett, chairman of the rightist Habayit Hayehudi faction, for suggesting he would refuse an order to evict settlers from their homes.
"These are very severe comments that do not coincide with what we expect from elected officials.
Bennett told reporters on Saturday that he "never called (on soldiers) to refuse orders. Any intelligent viewer would understand that. But the Likud and the political sphere pounced on my remarks, distorted them and made it look like I called for disobedience. They undermined the IDF's unity for a quarter of a Knesset seat."
Sa'ar accused Bennett of zigzagging and said: "Can a man who called for disobedience in the IDF sit in the government?"
Addressing the Justice Ministry's announcement on Sunday that Avigdor Lieberman would be summoned for further questioning in the case of the appointment of former Ambassador Zeev Ben-Aryeh, Sa'ar said he hoped the former foreign minister will be given an opportunity to "prove his innocence" as soon as possible.
"What he went through over the past decade constitutes delay of justice," said the Likud minister.
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