Israel’s Economy and Commerce Minister has told the Canadian Foreign Minister that a future state of Palestine will not be based on the borders of 1967. Right-wing politician Naftali Bennett told John Baird, “I believe that the choice of establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders cannot succeed because it will result in a hostile state.” According to Israeli media, Bennett claimed that “it would be much better to make peace with the Palestinian people in another untypical way.”
Bennett explained that it’s time to move to plan B: “This will start with the people, not with diplomacy and political leaders.” He added that Israel is considering granting the Palestinians wide freedom of movement within a new programme that the Israeli government wants to implement.
The meeting between Bennett and Baird was described by Bennett’s office as “very friendly”. Lasting for 45 minutes, the agenda included foreign relations and security issues affecting both countries.
Israel’s Channel Ten TV said that the Israeli minister’s comments are a blow to the US administration’s efforts to kick-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Secretary of State John Kerry has just returned to Israel to try to give a push to talks aimed at a two-state solution. Bennett’s statement, however, suggests the existence of another plan within the Israeli government which does not envisage a wholly-independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.