Even the Arab parties wouldn’t give the nod when queried.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
While President Joe Biden says his new administration supports “a viable two-state solution” to the Mideast conflict, an Israeli NGO told WIN Monday that not one of the political parties with a chance of making it into the Knesset in Tuesday’s vote would say they support such a policy.
The NGO, Mattot Arim, contacted both Jewish and Arab parties this week and asked them the following question:
“In recent days, both in the White House and in the State Department, policy documents have been generated which favor establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.
“If indeed the Palestinian ‘Authority’ is converted into an actual ‘state,’ as Biden proposes, it will then be entitled under international law – like any other state – to be fully militarized. Is your party and its leader for or against an armed foreign entity in Judea and Samaria?”
Mattot Arim found that six parties opposed the two-state outcome. The right-wing Likud, New Right, Religious Zionism and New Hope parties all said they were against it, as did the Sephardic ultra-religious Shas party. The New Economic Party, founded just as this round of elections got underway to concentrate on the country’s financial situation, also said they “would not allow a Palestinian state which is militarized.”
Only one party actively refused to take a position. United Torah Judaism, the other ultra-Orthodox party in the current coalition said that they “traditionally have no opinion on foreign and security issues. When [it is] practical, we will present the questions to the Council of Torah Scholars.”
On the other hand, it also added, “We support [Likud leader] Netanyahu’s positions.”
All the other parties, from center to far Left, declined to answer. Blue and White’s party spokeswoman referred the question to the faction spokesman, who did not respond. Labor and the Joint Arab List both promised a reply but never provided one. Even ultra-left Meretz, and Ra’am, the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement, kept their silence although on paper they support the establishment of a Palestinian state.
What is perhaps more surprising is that Yesh Atid, a party considered centrist that is polling as the Likud’s biggest challenger in this round of elections, did not respond to the query although the spokesperson read the message, the NGO says..
Israel Beiteinu would also not reply although the spokesperson read the message. This Russian immigrant-backed party has always been right-wing, but its leader, Avigdor Liberman, has refused to sit in a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the last two years.
Mattot Arim attributed the center-Left silence to the parties being unenthusiastic about the outcome of a Palestinian state.
“Rand Corporation researchers recently found, to their surprise, that the Israeli Left, not just the Israeli Right, regards it as dangerous to convert the Palestinian Authority into an actual state,” the NGO said. “The Israeli political parties’ responses to our probe reflect this. U.S. President Biden should take note.”
When asked by World Israel News why in their view President Biden and his followers support the two-state solution, the group responded that the two-state solution “sounds like it simply means co-existence. People do not understand that the two-state solution means non-existence – for Israel. Israel is tiny. Just like there is such a thing, physically, as a too-small bathroom, there is also such a thing as a too-small country which is militarily unprotectable. Without its crucial Judea-Samaria region, Israel is non-viable.”
Asked whether Israeli parties should then favor a demilitarized Palestinian state, Mattot Arim responded that legally, this was a contradiction in terms and therefore non-binding.
“Any state is entitled to be fully militarized. Once you say ‘state,’ that state becomes entitled to decide for itself, every single morning, whether to remain demilitarized as it perhaps initially promised, or whether to abscond on the promise. President Biden has to stay away from this type of optical illusion,” the group said.