‘Labor understands the two-state solution isn’t viable’

March 21, 2016  

The Labor party has come to the realization that the so-called “two-state solution” is not feasible at the moment, MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union) of the party told Arutz Sheva on Sunday. Zionist Union is a joint list made up of Labor and MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party.

Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Gush Etzion alongside MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli (Jewish Home), Nahmias-Verbin stressed that “Gush Etzion is a consensus in my party”, but also said she does not share the views of Jewish Home that annexing Judea and Samaria is the best way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Instead, opined Nahmias-Verbin, Zionist Union chairman Yitzhak Herzog’s “separation plan” is the best way to go about things.

“I say what is on my mind. I love Gush Etzion and its citizens. After six crazy months when every week there is a stabbing or another attack in Gush Etzion, I came to tell the residents that we need to create a security solution and that for my party the separation is that solution,” she said.

Asked about the concept of ​​separation which has previously been tried in Gaza without success, she said she believes that the expulsion from Gaza was not carried out properly.

“I’m separating between the personal hurt I felt over the residents who were evacuated from Gaza, and between the fact that I thought it was an important move to make, but it was not done the way it should’ve been done,” said Nahmias-Verbin, who also pointed out that “Gaza is different than Judea and Samaria.”

“We also must remember that the terrorist attacks before the Disengagement were very difficult and the mortar shells were flying on Sderot and the communities in northern Gaza in large numbers,” she continued. “Since 2001 the number of rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip have been unbearable. All the means we tried did not stop the shooting and the construction of tunnels, and yet I believe that the Disengagement was not carried out properly.”

“Even when we talk about separation, we should understand that the separation would not be an economic one, neither according to my solution nor according to the solution of Naftali Bennett, and therefore we need to see what to do to alleviate the pressure,” said Nahmias-Verbin, who added, “In this region of the world we live with many Arabs, and we must find a way to co-exist. This is a task that is assigned to us as those who want to continue to live in a Jewish and democratic state while maintaining its security. Those who seek to harm the security of Israel must know that nothing good will come out of it for them.”

Asked whether she thinks there will be a partner on the Palestinian side to accept Herzog’s “separation plan”, Nahmias-Verbin reiterated what Herzog has been saying in recent months – that the two-state solution is not viable.

“We think we have reached the point in time when there is no feasibility for the two-state solution. There is currently a complex situation, and the leaders on both sides have brought us to this situation. There is no choice but to search for solutions.”

“Something is happening in the Arab world. This is being illustrated in the decision by Saudi Arabia to outlaw Hezbollah,” she continued, and when asked if the Saudi decision was not proof that there is positive progress without giving in to the Palestinians, she replied, “We need the solution more for us than we do for them, and unless this understanding sinks in, we will have a problem, and the real problem in my mind is that I do not see what the vision of the Prime Minister is. If I could see what he envisions, I might understand where he’s going even if I do not agree with it.”

Nahmias-Verbin said that she fears that a solution to the conflict will be forced on Israel by the world if it doesn’t act on its own.

“In the end, solutions will be forced on us by the world and I do not want to go there. I want to be sovereign over my own state and not to have decisions forced upon me. At the end we will have to understand that somehow we will have to live here alongside with them, and for that to happen we need to be in control of the solution, and as of today we are not in control,” she concluded.

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