Hotovely: Grant West Bank Palestinians citizenship

Rightist Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely came out in support of granting Israeli citizenship to the Arab population of Judea and Samaria.

February 17, 2010 04:12
1 minute read.
A Palestinian man.

palestinian old man generic 311. (photo credit: AP)

Rightist Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely surprised participants at the Jerusalem Conference Tuesday when she came out in support of granting Israeli citizenship to the Arab population of Judea and Samaria.

Hotovely spoke on a panel with Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin and National Union MK Aryeh Eldad at Jerusalem’s Regency Hotel on the topic “The Two-State Solution, or Maybe Three or One.”

Kadima MK Avi Dichter canceled at the last minute his appearance at the conference, which is associated with the Right, leaving no MK on the panel who supported a Palestinian state.

There were no surprises from Begin, who ruled out any agreement with the Palestinians in the foreseeable future, or Eldad, who advocated giving the Palestinians Jordanian citizenship. But Hotovely made news when she said Israel should apply Israeli law to Judea and Samaria and that the best option available regarding what to do with the Arabs living there was to make them part of Israel.

“We should consider granting them citizenship on condition that we legislate a Basic Law that Israel remains a Jewish state,” Hotovely said. “They will then at best have a 30-percent minority. We must then embark on a national mission to bring another million Jews to Israel from the West.”

Hotovely said Israel must be proactive instead of allowing the world to force a solution on the Jewish state.

At the conference’s opening session Monday night, Begin said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government would make no concessions in Jerusalem. He said the city’s status as the capital of Israel had been undermined over the past few years and that had to change.

Far-ranging plans have been placed on the negotiating table, not only in east Jerusalem: proposals have also been made for Israel to relinquish Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, and the City of David, Begin said.

“In the name of the Israeli government, these and similar proposals will not be considered under any circumstances,” he said.

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