Existence of Jordan is a compromise, deputy minister says, speaking out against conceding land. Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely talks tough.
A long-standing rift within the Likud party on the subject of a two-state solution was readily apparent Wednesday evening, as Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Likud activist Eli Hazan debated the subject as part of an event for young party members.
“There’s schizophrenia in our movement, with people pulling us this way and that,” Hotovely said. “Political reporters love to write that we lack vision, and no party can allow itself that luxury.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s party did not explicitly support or reject a two-state solution in its platform in the last election, and as such, does not have an official position on the issue.
Netanyahu himself says he favors the foundation of a demilitarized Palestinian state as part of a peace settlement, while many of the party’s ministers and MKs have come out against such a move.
“The Bar-Ilan Speech [in which Netanyahu first expressed support for Palestinian statehood] was never authorized by the Likud. Members of our movement never agreed to found a Palestinian state. Certainly [Likud ideological forebear Ze’ev Jabotinsky] never agreed that another country would exist in the Land of Israel,” Hotovely said.
She emphasized her ideology that the Greater Land of Israel must remain part of Israel, pointing out that Jabotinsky advocated a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River and that “the existence of Jordan is a historic compromise.”
“Whoever believes in the Greater Land of Israel has never been prepared to give parts of our homeland away for any purpose, not even for peace,” she said.
According to Hotovely, Israel should annex Judea and Samaria and give Palestinians Israeli citizenship.
She said she was unafraid of Israel becoming a binational state, rather than a Jewish state, as the government would also declare Jewish immigration as a national goal.
Hotovely advocates having the government launch an intensive campaign for a million Jews from around the world to make aliya. If the two parts of her plan are implemented, she says, Israeli Arabs will be 25 percent of the population, 5% more than they are now.
Hazan, the deputy directorgeneral of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice, took issue with Hotovely’s proposal, arguing that Israel could not successfully bring a million Jews to Israel, because of what he called souring relations with non-Orthodox Jewry.
In addition, he said he did not want to give Palestinians citizenship.
“Look at Lod; relations between Jews and Arabs are catastrophic.
Look at French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev [in Jerusalem]; Jewish girls are afraid to go out in the street,” he said. “I’m a Jewish racist, and I’m not embarrassed to say I want a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.”
According to Hazan, “Netanyahu gave the Bar-Ilan Speech because he realized we can’t continue the current situation.”