Tourism Minister Uzi Landau warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday not
to pay the Palestinian Authority in settlement freezes and prisoner releases for
coming to the negotiating table.
Landau (Likud Beytenu) said that in
Netanyahu’s last term, the prime minister endorsed a Palestinian state and the
government accepted a settlement freeze but Israel received nothing in return
from the PA other than further demands.
“We have to learn from
experience,” Landau told The Jerusalem Post
. “All the concessions in the past
were pocketed. Freezing last time was a big mistake. There must be
reciprocity. If we freeze construction, the Palestinians also have to.
There won’t be unilateral steps.”
Landau said the coup in Egypt and
struggles of countries throughout the Arab world should make proponents of a
Palestinian state reconsider whether such a state could last.
foreign policy has to be based on reality and not dreams, those who want a
Palestinian state need to explain why such a state could work when countries in
the region with decades of history are coming apart and why we should make a
deal with a Palestinian leader who could not win an election,” Landau
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said he would ask the prime
minister in Monday’s Likud faction meeting about reports that Netanyahu had
agreed to a six-month freeze and a gradual release of Palestinian
The issues are also expected to come up in a Likud convention
that could take place Thursday, ahead of another visit by US Secretary of State
Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struck, who heads the Knesset’s Land of
Israel Front, said she would ask her party chairman, Naftali Bennett, to seek
clarification from Netanyahu about whether he had changed his mind about
Palestinian pre-conditions for talks.
“I hope Netanyahu will keep his
promise to not pay the Palestinians to talk to him,” Struck said. “Whoever gives
in at the outset of talks cannot [stand up] for what he believes in as the
Struck added that America should be ashamed to
press Israel to release murderers from prison to start peace talks when the US
is supposed to be leading the international fight against terror.