Zionist Union tours settlement blocs in message to Trump

Only seven MKs show up as others boycott.

May 18, 2017 20:29
1 minute read.
Ma'aleh Adumim

Ma'aleh Adumim. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)


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Zionist Union leaders and MKs visited Ma’aleh Adumim and settlements in the Etzion Bloc on Thursday, in a message to US President Donald Trump four days ahead of his visit to Israel.

Party chairman Isaac Herzog said he hoped Trump’s visit would be successful. He said Trump’s presidency was a great opportunity to reach an agreement with the Palestinians in which Israel would keep the settlement blocs.

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“Ma’aleh Adumim was built by Yitzhak Rabin in his first term as prime minister,” Herzog said, looking out at the Jerusalem Hills. “A month before Rabin’s assassination, he promised at the Knesset that Ma’aleh Adumim will be part of Israel in any agreement. We are here because we believe in a diplomatic agreement, keeping the settlement blocs, and separating from Palestinians.”

Livni told The Jerusalem Post at the event that the timing of the visit was coincidental and her party’s message was consistent: The blocs like Ma’aleh Adumim should not be “held hostage” by outposts like Amona. She said she objected to calling Ma’aleh Adumim a settlement.

The visit, which was part of a series of tours of cities around the country was attended by MKs Eitan Broshi, Yoel Hasson, Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, Yael Cohen-Paran and Revital Swid. Other Zionist Union lawmakers who are more dovish, including Merav Michaeli, Erel Margalit, Yossi Yona and Stav Shaffir, declined to participate.

Yona said the tour sent the wrong message and that the Zionist Union should stick to the periphery within the Green Line.

Some MKs said they did not attend due to scheduling conflicts, while others said the low turnout was due to a perception that Herzog was on his way out as head of the party. Labor’s leadership race is set for July 4.

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