|AJC: Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett's Unwelcome Comments|
June 17, 2013 – New York – AJC criticized Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of
the Economy, for his call today, in a Jerusalem speech, for an end to the
vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
attempt to establish a Palestinian state in our land has ended," said
Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party. "The most important thing in the
Land of Israel is to build, build, build," he said. "It's important
that there will be an Israeli presence everywhere. Our principal problem is
still Israel's leaders' unwillingness to say in a simple manner that the Land
of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.”
remarks come as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to secure
agreement by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume peace
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly supported the resumption of
talks with PA President Abbas, who walked away from the negotiating table more
than four years ago and has been missing-in-action ever since.
Naftali Bennett's remarks, rejecting outright the vision of two states for two peoples,
are stunningly shortsighted,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
"Since he is a member of the current Israeli coalition government, it is
important that his view be repudiated by the country's top leaders."
contravenes the outlook of Prime Minister Netanyahu and contradicts the vision
presented earlier this month to the AJC Global Forum by Minister Tzipi Livni,
chief Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians,” Harris continued. "Livni
stated clearly that a negotiated two-state settlement is the only way to assure
that the State of Israel will remain both Jewish and democratic. That is a view
we at AJC have long supported.”
are under no illusion about the difficulties of achieving a two-state
accord," Harris concluded. "But Bennett's alternative scenario offers
only the prospect of a dead-end strategy of endless conflict and growing
isolation for Israel."