Speaking at a conference in Washington D.C. over the weekend, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked declared the following to the gathered attendees. “We are against a Palestinian state. There is not and never will be a Palestinian state.”
There it is – an Israeli government minister stating, in black and white, that there will never be a Palestinian state. Three weeks ago, Shaked expressed similar sentiments on Al Jazeera’s UpFront. But it’s not just one minister.
In 1978, a young Benjamin Netanyahu was asked “do the Palestinians have a right to a separate state?” His reply: “No, I don’t think they do.” Plus ca change. In 2001, in candid remarks captured on a home video, Bibi explained how to undermine the peace process.
But how do you limit the withdrawals? I interpret the [Oslo] accords in such a way that will enable me to stop this rush toward ’67 borders [the internationally-recognised Green Line.
In October 2014, he put it more coyly, telling CNN: “I think we have to adjust our conceptions of sovereignty.” A few months later, however, he was back to his more direct self: “We won’t divide Jerusalem, we won’t make concessions, we won’t withdraw from land”, he said in March this year.
Prior to the election, infamously, Netanyahu was asked “If you are a prime minister, there will be no Palestinian state?” The Likud leader’s response: “Indeed.” Just last week, he claimed, proudly, that the settler population under his watch has risen from 280,000 to 400,000.
And what about Netanyahu’s ministerial colleagues? Here is a sample.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely: “I negate the idea of a two state-solution.”
Minister of Education Naftali Bennett: “There is not going to be a Palestinian state within the tiny land of Israel.”
Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom: “We are all against a Palestinian state, there is no question about it.”
Minister of National Infrastruture Yuval Steinitz: “We will not agree to the division of Jerusalem and giving up the Jordan Valley.”
Minister of Immigration Absorption Ze’ev Elkin: “I oppose [a Palestinian state] for many reasons.”
Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel: “I think that in five years there will be 550,000 or 600,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], rather than 400,000 [now].”
Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis: “I resolutely oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state in the place where our nation was born.”
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Yisrael Katz: “I am opposed to a Palestinian state. It is unacceptable, mainly because of our rights to this land.”
Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliet: “The Gaza Strip can annex itself to Egypt, some of the Palestinians can annex themselves to Jordan. They have many countries.”
Minister of Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz: “The conclusion is clear – not to establish a Palestinian state, for this will become a terror state on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.”
Does rejection of Palestinian statehood, along with support for colonisation and annexation, count as ‘incitement’?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.