The conflict with the Palestinians is about distrust more than anything else,
Finance Minister Yair Lapid said at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on
The Yesh Atid chairman presented his party’s view on the path
to peace to the hundreds of diplomats gathered in Herzliya’s Daniel
“This conflict is portrayed as a David and Goliath story, Red
Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, Lady Gaga and Madonna,” Lapid
“European anarchists and ‘useful idiots’ have led the claim that
Israel is strong, so it must be wrong.”
Lapid also criticized those who
say the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be solved because it’s a human rights
“I ask human rights activists, how are you so silent about the
treatment of gay people in Gaza? They mumble and try to change the subject,
because it doesn’t fit their story,” he said.
“One place is democratic
and gives equality to gays and women and minorities, and the other kills
Christians for being Christians and Jews for being Jews, but they’re still
considered the good guys. People don’t want to deviate from the narrative, but
if you want to talk about human rights, you have to talk about the whole
package,” Lapid emphasized.
The Yesh Atid leader said that the peace
process is not a logical puzzle, otherwise some of the great minds who have
worked on it would have been able to solve it already. He also denied that the
conflict is about borders, maps, Jerusalem, land swaps or anything technical,
nor is it about Palestinian terrorism or Israeli settlements.
problem is fear, mistrust, traumas, memories,” Lapid said, presenting his
central thesis. “How can people who don’t believe each other and hate and fear
each other, sign an agreement and talk about coexistence?
“The problem is that
this isn’t a dialogue but two monologues. Israelis want peace and
security; Palestinians want peace and justice. It sounds similar, but
those are different sets of emotions, and we don’t talk about it, because we
don’t know how to quantify it,” he explained.
“We need psychologists and
psychiatrists, not generals,” Lapid said.
Lapid also objected to Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the
“For 2,000 years, we needed recognition from others, and
we’re fed up with it. We’ll give ourselves all the recognition we’ll ever need,”
The real problem, however, is that the demand undermines trust,
because it is an insistence that the Palestinians lie, according to
The finance minister also said a map with final borders is
necessary, and that map must include security arrangements for Israel and will
lead to the evacuation of tens of thousands of settlers from the West
Lapid said that he does not trust the Palestinians, but that he
hopes he will over time.
“We need to fight emotions with emotions. Where
there is fear, let’s hope. Let the healing begin,” he said.
introduced by Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde as a future leader of
Israel. After the address, a diplomat praised Lapid’s impressive speech as being
worthy of “a future prime minister of Israel.”