Right blasts Obama for pushing Palestinian issue

“A Palestinian state does not guarantee Israeli security. It is a recipe for Israel’s destruction,” Likud MK Feiglin says.

September 25, 2013 03:57
2 minute read.
Moshe Feiglin.

Moshe Feiglin 311 . (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Politicians on the Israeli Right expressed frustration with US President Barack Obama’s focus on the need for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians in his speech on Tuesday to the UN General Assembly in New York.

The politicians were particularly outraged by Obama’s statement that Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends on the realization of a Palestinian state.

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“That is one of the worst statements by an American president in history,” said Transportation Minister Israel Katz, who heads the Likud’s governing secretariat. “Israel’s existence does not depend on anything, especially not the Palestinians. The US helps Israel, but we have always known to defend ourselves with our own force. We desire peace, but we will not take unnecessary risks and we will not accept any solution that endangers our existence.”

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called upon Netanyahu to resist pressure from Obama on the Palestinian issue, which he said he expects will only increase with time.

He also criticized Obama’s outreach to Iran in the speech.

“At a time when steely resolve is needed in dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue, we are instead hearing of premature concessions,” Danon said. “If this is the new policy of the US administration, then our government must remain vigilant and ready for the possibility of huge American pressure in the current talks with the Palestinians.”

Danon, who heads the Likud central committee, said he fully trusted Netanyahu to safeguard Israel’s vital national interests in dealing with Iran and in the discussions with the Palestinians. But he was less optimistic about the international community, which he said must remain very wary of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who he called a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“I am worried that some of our Western allies will want to view him as a moderate, to give themselves an excuse to disengage from this issue,” Danon said. “Now is not the time for concessions toward the regime of the ayatollahs. Instead, we should press forward with crippling sanctions that will send a clear message of resolve warning the Iranians that until they completely dismantle their nuclear program, they cannot act as full members of the international community.”

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin blamed what he did not like in Obama’s speech on Netanyahu and his predecessors for accepting the creation of a Palestinian state. He said that when Israel recognized a Palestinian people and its rights, it began a process in which the right for there to be a Jewish state was delegitimized.

“The truth is the land is either ours or theirs, so if we recognize another nation’s right to our land, we lost our rights,” Feiglin said. “Obama is misleading Israeli citizens. A Palestinian state does not guarantee Israeli security. It is a recipe for Israel’s destruction.”

Labor leadership candidate Isaac Herzog responded to the US president’s speech by saying that Netanyahu needed to choose between Obama and the family of nations and rightists in his coalition.

“We don’t need Obama to tell us that not reaching a diplomatic solution with the Palestinians and keeping the status quo could endanger the continued existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” Herzog said. “Israel must decide whether to bring about a diplomatic agreement or wait for the world to force one on us.”

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