'Labor's Gabbay can defeat Netanyahu, is committed to two-state solution'

Lawmaker from the opposition Labor party presents his own diplomatic plan to UN chief, representatives from almost 100 countries, including Arab and Muslim states.

July 13, 2017 11:15
2 minute read.
Netanyahu Gabbay

Netanyahu and Gabbay. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM,REUTERS)


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There’s a new spirit of hope in the Labor Party, MK Hilik Bar told a meeting of the Socialist International at the UN in New York City on Tuesday.

Bar presented his diplomatic plan to United Nations Secretary- General António Guterres and representatives from almost 100 countries, including Arab and Muslim states.

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The Labor MK told those gathered about the newly-elected Labor leader: “Avi Gabbay is not just a new leader for the Labor Party, he is also bringing us a new hope for the future of the Labor Party in Israel.

Gabbay’s victory “gives us a new hope for the renewal of the negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians. A new hope, maybe, for peace in the Middle East,” Bar said.

As for the two-state solution, Bar said it is the only possible solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

“Peace is not a luxury; peace is not a bonus. Peace between Israel and Palestine is a necessity.

We don’t want to wait for peace; we waited for peace too long. We need both sides to go and do everything and work hard in order to bring peace, and not just to wait for it. Peace is doable, peace is possible, and indeed in our hands,” he said.

After Guterres addressed the conference, Bar gave him a copy of his plan and the two said they would meet in order to discuss it further.

Israeli Labor party MK Hilik Bar (R) and UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Bar’s diplomatic outline calls for Israel to recognize a Palestinian state. Borders would be determined based on pre- 1967 lines, with land swaps to account for settlement blocs, and the two sides would negotiate on Jerusalem, security arrangements, the refugee issue and more.

The recognition and approval of “Palestine” joining UN institutions would be conditioned on it not undermining the need to negotiate and on the Palestinians recognizing Israel.

The plan also provides that with the creation of a Palestinian state, Jews would be able to securely live in it as residents or citizens, thus creating an option for Israelis not to be expelled from their homes.

Palestinian citizens would have “privileged access” to places of worship, tourism, academia and trade in Israel and vice-versa.

The outline also deals with Israel’s relations with Diaspora Jewry. It says the government should give world Jewry an “advisory status on issues of national importance and matters of foreign policy” and educate them in Hebrew, Jewish history and Zionism, to strengthen their Jewish identity while still promoting the Zionist idea of “the negation of the Diaspora” and encouraging them to move to Israel.

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