Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (L) is interviewed by Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post Yaakov Katz..
(photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)
Israel should use the Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for negotiations with the Palestinians, opposition leader Isaac Herzog said in a question- and-answer session with The Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz Monday at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington.
Herzog noted that it was the 15th anniversary of the plan, which calls for Arab nations to achieve peace and normalization with Israel in return for Israel retreating to the pre-1967 lines in the West Bank with territorial adjustments, leaving the Golan Heights and allowing the return of Palestinian refugees.
“There is a golden opportunity with this new American administration to seize the regional approach to peace,” he said. “We should take advantage of the opportunity. Israel should respond positively to the Arab Peace Initiative and use it as basis for negotiating peace.”
Herzog issued veiled criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, saying that it is important for Israel and the US to not interfere in each other’s politics.
Dermer raised an uproar when he told the conference Sunday that there is no daylight between Israel and the Trump administration and that there had been with former US president Barack Obama.
“Israel must be a bipartisan issue,” Herzog said.
Using the same term, Herzog said there is no daylight between him and Netanyahu when it comes to Iran. He stressed that the global community should acknowledge the fact that the Islamic Republic is capable of a nuclear weapons breakout in 10 years under the current atomic deal with world powers.
Herzog added that he has made efforts to inform world leaders of the dangers of the regime in Tehran and its regional terrorist activities.
The opposition leader said that the two main forces of danger in the region are Iran and Islamic State, indicating that Israel has a rare opportunity to work with outside powers to counter the threats.