Knesset members on the right began pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday to minimize the number of concessions he authorizes in diplomatic negotiations with the PLO.
The MKs said they were concerned that US Secretary of State John Kerry would pressure Netanyahu to make more concessions and therefore found it necessary to counteract Kerry’s demands with pressure of their own. To that end, 16 MKs in the coalition wrote the prime minister as he was meeting with Kerry.
“Tell the secretary of state that Israel has no intention of returning to the parameters of the Oslo Accords or relinquishing any more of Israel’s homeland to the Palestinian Authority,” they wrote.
Among the MKs were legislators from Likud Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi, including deputy ministers Ze’ev Elkin (Foreign Ministry), Tzipi Hotovely (Transportation), Eli Ben- Dahan (Religious Services), Avraham Wortzman (Education) and Ophir Akunis (Knesset Liaison).
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon complained that the Palestinians had upped their demands in the negotiations by asking for the concessions made by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
In September 2008, Olmert offered the Palestinians 100 percent of the West Bank with land swaps, the return of thousands of Palestinians to Israel’s final borders, a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem and the internationalization of the Holy Basin of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Netanyahu received unexpected defense from the most right-wing minister in the cabinet, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel.
“I am strengthening the prime minister to withstand all the pressure he is under the best way he can and maintain Israel’s clear interests,” Ariel said. “I am sure that 20 years after the Oslo agreement was signed, he learned the historic lesson to not accept false promises at the expense of Israel’s security.”
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