As long as Palestinians incite their children against Israel there will be no real peace, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday, according to Israel Hayom.
“The crux of the matter is education in the Palestinian Authority, and if I open a PA textbook and see that Israel doesn’t appear on the map, or that Tel Aviv is designated as a settlement, and when a 3-year-old boy is brought up to admire suicide bombers – you can sign any agreement and in the end it will blow up in your face,” Ya’alon said.
Giving a security assessment briefing at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, his first as defense minister, Ya’alon also dismissed threats made by the Palestinian Authority to walk away from the two-state solution, as it is not in their best interests to do so.
“All that fuss over the idea that if the Palestinians throw away their keys, that the PA will collapse? The Palestinians don’t want that to happen. It’s the same as far as a binational state. They also have no interest in that happening,” he said.
Ya’alon was also critical of the Palestinian Authority’s response to efforts being made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to restart peace talks.
“At this stage, the Palestinian side is making it difficult for them to engage,” Ya’alon said.
“We’re ready to begin the process immediately without preconditions, and discuss all the issues, just not those concerning territory. We don’t want to rule the Palestinians. We’re ready to advance the diplomatic process, which [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas is avoiding by setting preconditions. We are unwilling to pay a price just for them to come to the table. As long as what is being discussed is territory, Abbas is interested. As long as we’re not interested in entering talks based entirely on territory, he’s doing his best to avoid [the diplomatic process]. I supported the Oslo [accords], but the second I saw that our very existence was in question, I started to have doubts.”
The defense minister also addressed Israel’s international image, saying that Israel is being “attacked over the issue of [West Bank] settlements.”
“If we’re talking about peace and coexistence, why are the Palestinians demanding territory free of Jews? We can come up with a lot of ideas, so I suggest we don’t focus only the settlements.”