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’?