Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been emphasizing the need for the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to win the support of Israelis for the creation of a Palestinian state, right-wing groups alleged Tuesday.
Mattot Arim and Professors for a Strong Israel, which is led by former MK Arye Eldad, have started what they call an “information and warning campaign” to inform the public of what they believe is a tactical trick by the prime minister.
The groups said they had credible evidence that Netanyahu’s push for a Jewish state came after a secret poll indicated that demanding the recognition of a Jewish state would neutralize opposition to territorial concessions.
“We are calling upon the people of Israel to ignore the smoke screen of recognition of a Jewish state and realize the real impending danger,” Mattot Arim spokeswoman Susie Dym said. “Your government – or parts of it – has agreed out of weakness to a huge evacuation and to form a terrorist state a bike ride away from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport.”
The right-wing groups will meet with MKs and other influential figures to spread the message. The public information campaign will warn against paying anything for “terrorists purportedly recognizing our Jewishness.”
Eldad said Netanyahu had built up the Jewish state concept to show the public that he had received something from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in return for Israel’s concessions.
He said the Likud MKs who believe Netanyahu is raising the issue to prevent the diplomatic talks from advancing are incorrect. He noted that Israel’s chief negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has hinted the Palestinians will accept the demand in one way or another.
“Netanyahu is using the Jewish state issue to market concessions effectively to the Israeli Right and Center,” he said. “But in effect, the prime minister is actually abandoning us to the dangerous hands of Abbas.”