Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday turned the tables in an interview on BBC’s Hard Talk when he asked host Stephen Sacker, “Would you hand over half of Britain to someone who keeps on killing you?”
In the combative interview, Bennett countered Sacker at every turn.
Asked about his resistance to the internationally acclaimed “two-state solution,” Bennett said the history of Arab violence and two decades of diplomatic failures require “fresh thinking.”
“In our land, there are nearly 2 million Palestinians…. They’re not going anywhere, but we’re not going anywhere,” Bennett said. “We gotta figure out how to live together, how to work it out.”
Sacker insisted, asking Bennett why he was against offering “sovereignty.” Bennett responded that “every time” Israel withdraws from land, “they kill us.”
“Would you hand over half of Britain to someone who keeps on killing you?” Bennett asked the host.
“For 20 years we tried this direction, in [the international peace agreements of] 1993, in ’95, 2000… and you know what they did? They killed 1,000 Israelis,” Bennett said. “It’s not working. It’s time to try a different approach.”
“That something else is peace between the people… Businesses in Judea and Samaria of Israelis and Palestinians together… that’s the real bridge to peace, build it bottom-up, because clearly the diplomats are failing.”
Sacket said that Saeb Erekat, the lead Palestinian Authority negotiator in the ongoing peace talks with Israel, recently appeared on his talk show and said the PA recognized Israel in the 1993 Oslo peace accord.
Bennett disagreed and described what he said was the PA’s plan to divide Israel repeatedly until there is nothing left to recognize:
“Here’s what Erekat is essentially saying: divide the land, give us half of it, first of all. Now we have our Palestinian state, and now let’s start debating your half, and let’s turn it into a bi-national state.”
“No,” Bennett said. “It’s got to be the homeland of the Jews. We only have one homeland, the Arabs have 22 — 300 times the size of our tiny state. I don’t know how many of your viewers realize that from the ocean to the Green Line it’s a 10 minute ride. That’s how narrow our state is, but he wants a piece of that.”
“What he doesn’t get is he needs to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and, yes, we only have one. The Jewish nation only has one state in the world, and that’s Israel. But if he wants it to be a multi-national state that means he wants his state, and then the day we sign that deal, he’ll begin fighting for the small Jewish state.”
Sacker then addressed the notion that refusing a two-state deal is succumbing to “real naivety” in the belief that Palestinian-Arabs will eventually lose their will to fight.
“I’ve unfortunately fought in every battle in Israel since 1990. I’ve lost my best friends in battle, in the First Intifada, the Second [Intifada], the Second Lebanon War… A thousand people blew up in Tel Aviv and Haifa and Jerusalem …read more
Source: The Algemeiner