An op-ed published in the New York Times on Tuesday by Roger Cohen, titled "My Jewish State" has shed light on comments Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid made during a sit down with the columnist in August 2013. During their chat last summer, Lapid reiterated his lack of interest in Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Lapid reportedly told Cohen “the fact that we demand from Palestinians a declaration that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I just think this is rubbish. I don’t need that. The whole point of Israel was we came here saying we don’t need anyone else to recognize us anymore because we can recognize ourselves. We are liberated.”
Last year, Lapid made a similar statement, during an interview the Charlie Rose show in New York.
"I don't feel we we need a declaration from the Palestinians that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Lapid said. “My father [former Justice Minister Yosef Lapid] didn’t come to Haifa from the Budapest ghetto to get recognition from [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas. The whole concept of the State of Israel is that we recognize ourselves. After 2,000 years of being dependent on other people, we are independent and make our own rules now.”
Lapid's comments surfaced days before US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to make a visit to Israel and the West Bank in a final push for peace negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Globes and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.