(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A day after the Arab League said it would be open to land swaps, Labor on
Wednesday repeated its commitment to enter the coalition, if necessary, should
the government come close to reaching a peace treaty.
Shelly Yacimovich said on Tuesday night that her party would “support positive,
significant steps toward reaching an agreement.”
“If we are on the cusp
of signing a treaty and [Economy and Trade Minister Naftali] Bennett threatens
to quit, we won’t be the opposition, and will reexamine entering the
government,” a spokeswoman for Yacimovich explained on Wednesday.
responded enthusiastically to Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim
al-Thani’s announcement in Washington that the Arab League would be willing to
accept land swaps that deviate from pre-1967 lines. Nearly all of the party’s
MKs released statements welcoming the change.
The proposal fits with the
2000 Clinton Parameters that Labor supports, Yacimovich explained in an
interview with Israel Radio, and Israel would earn “extra points” with the
international community if the government would accept it.
Ben-Eliezer (Labor) also said on Wednesday that his party would be willing to
join the coalition to increase political stability and bring progress in peace
“I have followed the Arab League’s decisions for 50 years, since I
was a child, and this is the first time they are talking about ending the
conflict and the 1967 borders,” he told Army Radio.
the development as a “historic opportunity,” saying it was Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu who had to make a decision on the matter.
“If due to
the diplomatic issue [of land concessions], Bennett leaves and the government
breaks up, Labor is in, because there is no shadow of a doubt that if such a
miracle occurs, the prime minister will grab the opportunity and will enter
negotiations, he knows that he has the Labor party,” Ben-Eliezer
Meanwhile, Bayit Yehudi is working on an option that would allow it
to stay in a government that makes concessions to the Palestinians.
senior Bayit Yehudi source explained that Bayit Yehudi didn’t oppose
negotiations, but was opposed to the government giving up any
However, should such concessions be authorized in a
referendum, the party would accept the will of the people, the source
Bennett hopes to turn the current law, which requires a referendum
before conceding any land under Israeli sovereignty, into to a basic law, which
has constitutional status. He has faced opposition from within the coalition, as
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and her Hatnua party are adamantly against a
Yesh Atid is undecided on the matter.
The current law
does not apply to Judea and Samaria, which is under military administration, and
Bayit Yehudi is trying to find a legal solution for them to be part of new
Bayit Yehudi doesn’t oppose negotiations, faction chairwoman
Ayelet Shaked said on Tuesday, as long as there is a “give and take, not give
“There’s nothing new [in the Arab League announcement], she
said. “[Former prime minister Ehud] Olmert and [former US president Bill]
Clinton talked about this. No one thinks that 400,000 people can be removed from
their homes,” she said.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.