Virtual debate: Shaul Mofaz

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 8, 2005 23:16
3 minute read.
mofaz 298.88

mofaz .298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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1) Will the Likud under your leadership seek a coalition with Kadima? I believe that if I head the Likud, it will be a stronger - leading - party that would win the trust of the majority of the public. As for the make-up of the coalition of the next government: it would be irresponsible to say at such an early stage which of the parties will be our coalition partners. This, of course, will depend of the results of the elections and on the ideological platform that is forged in the other parties. If the other right-wing parties understand that only a moderate right-wing platform is suitable at this time to the state of Israel if will certainly be possible to discuss the issue, but as I said, it's still too early. 2) If you win, will you try to build a bloc to run together with other parties on a joint list? I think that the current placement of the Likud on the political map is the right one, and that it's moderate/realistic right-wing character should be protected. Only thus can the Likud faithfully represent its traditional voters, continue to be the home of the Likudniks, and win wide public support. In order to develop a healthy economy with resources to minimize social gaps, one has to see the complex local and international picture. Unfortunately, the National Union sees this as a one-dimensional picture. 3) What separates the Likud under your leadership from Kadima on one side and the National Union on the other? Under me, the Likud would be a national-social party, as it has always been since its establishment and until today. Under me, the Likud would know how to balance the two most important and burning issues on Israel's national agenda today: the need to minimize poverty and decrease the social gaps; and the need for a period of calm in terms of security and a continuation of the political process. 4) Would you be willing to make territorial concessions in Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley or the Golan Heights in return for an agreement with the Palestinians for real peace? Your question puts Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights in one category, in spite of the fact that they are completely different from one another. My views on these issues are well-known. I have said on more than one occasion - and I reiterate here - that the large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria will be enhanced and will remain in place, regardless of any future arrangement. The Americans understand this; even the Palestinians do. As for the Jordan Valley: It is a real security interest for Israel that mustn't be abandoned, which i consider a part of the state of Israel. Regarding the Golan Heights, I have already made clear that I consider it a part of Israel. 5) Would you commit yourself to bringing future territorial concessions to a national referendum? A referendum is a tool that has to be implemented for very special cases. I certainly think that in the case of a permanent arrangement with the Palestinians that draws the permanent borders of the state of Israel, there is room to weigh the conducting of a referendum.

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