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
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.
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.
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
“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
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
In addition, he said he did not want to give Palestinians
“Look at Lod; relations between Jews and Arabs are
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
According to Hazan, “Netanyahu gave the Bar-Ilan Speech
because he realized we can’t continue the current situation.”
that “the prime minister presented terms for statehood that would be difficult
for the Palestinians. Like Jabotinsky, he said the Arabs need to accept the fact
that we’re here and we’re not leaving.”
He concluded his speech by saying
that the difference between the Likud’s advocacy of two states and that of Labor
or Yesh Atid was that only Netanyahu could be trusted not to concede too
Hotovely and Hazan spoke at the Jabotinsky Institute – which
occupies the lower floors of the Likud’s headquarters in Tel Aviv – addressing a
crowd consisting mostly of enthusiastic party members in their early 20s,
including groups from Bar- Ilan University and the Hebrew University.
deputy transportation minister said she was “amazed” to learn that 50,000 Likud
members are under 35 – like Hotovely herself – and asked those at the conference
for ideas on how to revive young activism in the party.
“Young people are
responsible for forming our party’s ideological vision,” she stated.
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