Deputy PM Ya’alon Confirms Israeli Government’s Political Program: Pro-colonization, against two-state solution

Media Briefs
October 16, 2014

Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stated official Israeli government policy in an interview with Israel Hayom Newspaper on October 15th 2014. Please find below extracts from his answers:

  • On the Palestinian State: “We need to free ourselves of the notion that everything boils down to only one option called a Palestinian state. As far as I am concerned let them call it the Palestinian Empire. I don’t care. It is an autonomy if it is ultimately a demilitarized territory. That is not a status quo, it is the establishment of a modus vivendi that is tolerable and serves our interests”.

  • On the two-state solution: “Call it whatever you want. The political separation has already happened, and is a good thing. We are not controlling the lives of residents of Gaza or Judea and Samaria [i.e. Occupied West Bank]. This separation is important. I would encourage and reinforce governability, the economy and the residents’ ability to live in dignity and economic comfort. But to derive something so black and white from that? State or no state? Let’s put the terminology aside.”

  • On President Abbas: “He never said that he has given up on demanding refugee rights. So where can we go with him? He is a partner for discussion; a partner for managing the conflict. I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict and maintain relations in a way that works for our interests.”

  • On Settlement freeze: “There is no construction freeze.”

Link to the interview:

This is the official policy of the Israeli government coalition, a coalition which, in less than two years, has shown itself to be one of the most extreme in history. Mr. Ya’alon has confirmed that the Israeli government does not seek a two-state solution, but rather a way to manage the situation. This has always been, and remains, the line of Netanyahu’s government. In stark contrast to the positions of Palestine and the entire international community, the ruling coalition in Israel has made clear that it has no intention of seeing an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel. Rather, the Israeli government aims to consolidate the occupation that continues to control the lives of the Palestinian people. The current Knesset coalition is made up of 68 members of Knesset (MK). At least 28 of them have clearly and unequivocally declared that they oppose the two-state solution. These are not the MKs with qualms about the repercussions of the two-state solution, or hesitations about implementation: they are, in principle, opposed to the existence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Among the other 40 MKs, a large number, including PM Netanyahu himself, refuse to end the occupation of East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley (even with the Palestinian-proposed compromise of an international security presence), and refuse to allow Palestinian control over their own borders, air space, maritime borders, electromagnetic sphere and natural resources, including water. These 28 MKs are the cornerstone of the Netanyahu coalition. While the PM may be able to say anything he likes about his diplomatic aspirations, the political reality is that any steps in the direction of a two-state solution will topple the coalition. This is the coalition Mr. Netanyahu selected, and is the one which represents his own ideological commitments. It was this Prime Minister who attempted to justify the Israeli occupation in his latest UN speech by arguing a religious right over Palestine: “The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel. History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years.” In the same address delivered at the 69th UN General Debate, Mr. Netanyahu never mentioned the two-state solution, negotiations or the peace process.

The world has to assume its responsibility and support Palestinian diplomatic initiatives for peace by setting a deadline to end the occupation and recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border. As a logical translation of international law and consensus, the international community should also ban all settlement products, divest from companies and organizations linked directly or indirectly with the Israeli occupation and hold Israel accountable for its ongoing violations of UN resolutions, international law and human rights. The world cannot continue acting as if it is not aware of this one indisputable fact: The Israeli Government does not want peace based on a two-state solution.

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