What’s our position, Government of Israel?

With all the talk of what’ll be said at the Netanyahu-Trump summit this week, and after watching their live press conference preceding the meeting today, all I can say is – hang on tight, it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Looking right now at the Israeli / Arab-palestinian conflict, don’t let the NYTimes fool you. The Israeli government position states the need to protect Israel’s security but it does not choose what way to get that done. No matter what member of the government makes which statement, including the Prime Minister himself. The time has come to think outside the failed two-state box. Friends of Israel: Allow the sides to come to terms with new options for real peace in this part of the world. With understanding and creativity, Israel can find the recipe for security and secure borders, while regarding the personal rights of everyone living in the area.

Netanyahu heads a coalition government made up of a variety of parties and representatives. This government has a set of official policies which dictate its actions. Each individual member of the Government, from the Prime Minister to every Minister, may have their own political views. As a whole, the government functions within the agreed-upon coalition guidelines that govern all of its policy. This is why you may hear conflicting views during this week of political conversation with Israelis in Washington.

netanyahu trump

On the question of the best way to achieve peace with our neighbors, the coalition Government has had its say, and it does not include any one ‘solution’ but rather sets out the general direction. Follows are quotes by numerous Cabinet Ministers, members of the Netanyahu government, and Members of the Knesset from various factions. The overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens and their representatives have voted down the failed ‘two-state’ process time and time again, clamoring for a chance to create diplomacy that will help realize a truly peaceful resolution of the conflict.

MK Yuli Edelstein, Knesset Speaker
“We need not fear the international reaction to the application of sovereignty. We must apply sovereignty gradually and practically”.
(Sovereignty Conference 3, Jerusalem, 2013)

MK Yisrael Katz, Minister of Transportation
“A first step in the battle for sovereignty in Judea and Samaria – establishing Greater Jerusalem, which will spread far beyond the Green Line. The time is ripe and the idea is right…”
(Sovereignty Journal 4, 2014)

MK Zeev Elkin, Minister of Immigration and Jerusalem Affairs
“We will try to apply sovereignty on the maximum possible area whenever we can,,, I propose that we learn from the Arabs and adopt the “salami method” – step after step.”
(Sovereignty Conference 3, Jerusalem, 2013)

MK Miri Regev, Minister of Culture and Sport
“I established the lobby to apply sovereignty over the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as a start. I have not given up on sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. The process of the application of sovereignty over the communities is meant to help, first and foremost, the government to begin with a step, and afterward, to do what the platform of the Likud demands – to complete Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.” (Sovereignty Conference 1, Hebron, Summer, 2011)

MK Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism
“We must apply the legislation in the spirit of sovereignty as much as possible” (Sovereignty Journal 6, 2015)

MK Ofir Akunis, Minister of Science
“Our right to the Land is an eternal and irrevocable right. No people would surrender its homeland”
(Sovereignty Journal 5, 2015)

MK Ayelet Shaked, Minister of Justice
“We really want to change the equation and application of sovereignty is the solution”.

MK Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Foreign Minister
The goal is that Judea and Samaria will be under Israeli sovereignty”
(Sovereignty Journal 2, 2014)

MK Ayoob Kara, Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation
“We must apply Israeli law in all areas where there are Jewish communities, keep the military in the Jordan Valley and return to the plan where all the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria will be residents of Jordan”
(Sovereignty Journal 4, 2014)

Our ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon
“We have a clear position of objection to a Palestinian state and if anyone wants to change this position, he can come for a discussion. But at the moment, the official position of the Likud is objection to a Palestinian state”
(Sovereignty Journal 3, 2014)

MK Haim Katz, Minister of Welfare
“A declaration of commitment to Judea and Samaria is required, as it was for the Golan”.

MK Gila Gamliel, Minister of Social Equality
“It is our obligation to strengthen the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. To apply Israeli law in all of Judea and Samaria”.

Note: These are Government Cabinet members; the list goes on with Members of the Knesset and other leaders. Time to listen to the winds of change, in the hopes that this can bring real progress.

About the Author
Ruth Lieberman is an Israeli-based political consultant and licensed tour guide, combining her love of Israel with political acumen to better Israel's standing both at home and in the eyes of the world. She has consulted for political leaders in Jerusalem and in Washington, from work on election campaigns to public advocacy and events. Her tours in Israel connect Biblical history to modern realities, to highlight Israel's achievements and promote its policies.
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