PM, reacting to Ya'alon, says Peace Now 'not a virus'

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 31, 2009 02:05
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Peace Now found an unlikely advocate on Sunday in its longtime nemesis: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In a rare joint interview with Israel Radio and Army Radio, Netanyahu defended Peace Now from the attack on it by his vice premier, Moshe Ya'alon, two weeks ago. "It is important to clarify that the Left is not a virus and the settlers are not a cancer," Netanyahu told interviewers Yaron Deckel and Razi Barka'i. "There are legitimate disputes in Israeli society and we must maintain unity and show respect for political rivals by talking and acting in a restrained manner." Netanyahu referred in his statement to Ya'alon calling Peace Now's repeated pushing for withdrawals from territory despite Palestinian rejectionism "a virus" and former Meretz MK Yossi Sarid, Hebrew University professor Ze'ev Sternhell and other leftist activists who compared the spread of settlements in the West Bank to that of cancer. The prime minister also expressed regret for his controversial statement, whispered into the ear of the late Sephardic kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Kadourie in 1997, that "the Leftists forgot what it means to be Jewish." "Wisdom and age have changed me," Netanyahu said. "I am the prime minister of everyone now." Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer welcomed Netanyahu's statements but expressed regret that he did not take action to remove Ya'alon from the prestigious, six-member inner cabinet. In the interview, Netanyahu did not reveal what understandings he had reached with the Americans regarding a possible West Bank settlement freeze, but he expressed confidence that he would not face a coalition crisis over the matter. "Every decision made disappoints someone," Netanyahu said. "I will act in the way that I think protects Israeli security and advances peace with our neighbors. This balance in the end is respected by Israeli citizens and MKs in the Likud and the coalition. I think that when you act correctly, everyone knows it." Likud MK Danny Danon wrote Netanyahu a letter on Sunday complaining that he was making decisions regarding a settlement freeze without consulting the Likud faction or the cabinet. "Your advisers were not elected by the Israeli public," Danon wrote. "Making such decisions behind closed doors harms democracy."

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN