Gantz’s platform ignores Palestinian state, hints at sovereignty for blocs

The Blue and White Party noted it will weigh the Trump plan based on its principled support for a united Jerusalem, and support for the settlement blocs.

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March 6, 2019 20:30
2 minute read.
Gantz’s platform ignores Palestinian state, hints at sovereignty for blocs

Gabi Ashkenazi [R] Yair Lapid Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya'alon [L] in a photo Lapid called 'this is what National Unity looks like.' . (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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The newly published Blue and White Party platform ignores the idea of a Palestinian state and hints at the possibility of sovereignty for the West Bank settlement blocs.


It also opens the door for the possibility of territorial concessions in a peace deal, but only those done with the support of a national referendum or approval in the Knesset by a special majority.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has painted Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz as a left-wing politician who will support a Palestinian state at the pre-1967 line. The party platform that was made public on Wednesday, however, makes no mention of a Palestinian state or even a two-state resolution to the conflict, something that Netanyahu has already pledged to support.


In its platform, the party does not even promise to support US President Donald Trump’s much anticipated peace plan.


The Blue and White Party noted instead that it will weigh the Trump plan based on its principled support for a united Jerusalem, and support for the settlement blocs.


It added that it wanted to see “normalized” life in those blocs. That word is often code for the application of sovereignty to West Bank territory.


“We will strengthen the settlement blocs and allow normal life in all places that Israelis live,” the party stated. “The Jordan Valley will be Israel’s eastern security border.”


Like the right-wing parties, it spoke of economic peace with the Palestinians.


“We will allow accelerated economic development in the Palestinian Authority’s territory, and we will maintain an open horizon for a diplomatic arrangement in the future... And we will maintain an open horizon for future political settlement,” the party stated. “President Trump’s peace plan will be weighed against these principles, once it is presented.”


Moreover, the platform stated, “there won’t be a second disengagement. A unilateral process leads the enemy to conclude that violent resistance has succeeded. We will not repeat this mistake. Any historic diplomatic decision will be determined by the people through a national referendum or approved by the Knesset through a special majority.”


Blue and White’s platform is 45 pages, far less comprehensive than the 206-page platform distributed by Yesh Atid the day before it merged with the Israel Resilience Party and Telem to form Blue and White.


The Labor Party said the platform proved that Blue and White is a right-wing party. A party spokesman said Blue and White’s right-wing candidates from Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem want to increase the settlement population and deepen the threat to Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.


“Those who flee from the two-state solution will receive one state, with an Arab majority and the end of the Zionist vision,” Labor said.


Peace Now expressed surprise that the two-state solution is not in the platform after past statements supporting it from party leaders Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi.


Regarding electoral reform, the platform calls for term limits for the prime minister of either three terms or eight years, whichever is less. Public officials indicted for corruption would automatically have to suspend themselves or quit.

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