Anticipating the Trump administration’s rollout of its peace plan, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday that it will be a waste because the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians are too great to bridge.
The justice minister also discussed the conflict with Hamas, saying that any deterrence Israel had established since the 2014 Gaza War was nullified over the last two years.
Not only that, but Shaked is convinced that the current ceasefire will not hold for more than a few months – and that when it breaks down, Israel will likely have to use greater force than it has used in recent rounds of fighting.
Regarding the election standoff that she and Bayit Yehudi had with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days, Shaked said that “I think the right decision was to nominate Naftali Bennett to be defense minister. Israel requires a full-time defense minister with the huge security challenges [it faces]. The job of prime minister is maybe the toughest job in the world – and our prime minister needs a defense minister next to him that will push the army,” she said.
“Unfortunately, he thought differently. And when we reached a decision in the end,” to back down from our threat to quit the government, “I think we made the right decision. In political life, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” she said.
Bennett and Shaked had threatened to leave the government if he did not get the job, but then backed down when Netanyahu called their bluff.
Continuing, Shaked said that: “You need to take challenges on to accomplish things… If we would not have pushed to get the justice ministry, we wouldn’t have gotten it.”
As to the future, she said she has “no idea” when the next election will be, beyond that it would be between March and the latest possible date of November 2019.
Shaked said that the election depends on the prime minister, and she made it clear that Bayit Yehudi has given up on forcing an early election.
She also commented on Airbnb’s recent decision to boycott the settlements in the West Bank, saying that she had gotten initial signs from Israeli legal officials that there were both US and Israeli laws which could be used to punish Airbnb for the decision.
Finally, she said that she would continue her campaign as justice minister to make Israel’s courts more conservative, having already appointed six of the current 15 Supreme Court justices and having more than 300 of the court system’s 800 judges appointed during her three-and-a-half-year tenure.
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