Virtual debate: Binyamin Netanyahu
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 8, 2005 23:21
3 minute read.
natanyahu portrait 298.8.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
1) Will the Likud under your leadership seek a coalition with Kadima?
The Likud will win the election and we will negotiate with the parties on forming a coalition on the basis of guidelines based on the Likud platform.
2) If you win, will you try to build a bloc to run together with other parties on a joint list?
The Likud will follow its own path independently. We are not working on forming coalitions but dealing with principles.
3) What separates the Likud under your leadership from Kadima on one side and the National Union on the other?
The Likud is a center-Right party that represents the majority of the Israeli public. It is clear to everyone that Ariel Sharon will not keep the promises that he is making. He and his people are already talking about more unilateral withdrawals that will bring the border to the edge of Petah Tikva and Kfar Saba.
4) Would you be willing to make territorial concessions in Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley or the Golan Heights in return for an agreement with the Palestinians for real peace?
The Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley are Israel's security belt and they should remain in our hands in any peace settlement. We hope that the American effort in Iraq succeeds and we fully support their effort to achieve a peaceful and democratic Iraq, but we also have to take into account the growing power of Iran that could pose problems for Israel from the east in the future and therefore, for Israel's national security we must maintain these defenses.
In Judea and Samaria, we have national, historic and strategic interests and I don't see any reason why we should offer concessions in advance of negotiations. Such concessions will be of limited scale and will be offered only in exchange for genuine peace with a genuine peace partner, something that is not readily apparent on the horizon today. In any case, we oppose the idea of unilateral withdrawals and stand by the principle of firm reciprocity, which is good for peace and security. It demands concrete actions from the Palestinians in return for anything they ask of us. Reciprocity is the way to peace and security and not unilateral retreats in the face of terror.
5) Would you commit yourself to bringing future territorial concessions to a national referendum?
Yes. Such big questions have to be decided by the nation and not through vote-buying or political tricks.