Begin Breaks Likud Ranks on INR Radio; Rejects PA State
Minister without portfolio Benny Begin (Likud), in an Israel National News Radio interview on Monday, rejected the creation of an Arab state west of the Jordan River saying the right of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland was 'obvious' and that such a state would become a 'haven of impunity' for terror. Begin's remarks mark a stark departure from the “two states for two people's” vision endorsed by Israel's current Likud-run government.
"I think any second state of any nature, another sovereignty west of the Jordan River, especially when it comprises the PLO or Hamas, would negate or contradict two basic rights of the Jewish people and the citizens of Israel," Begin told Israel National News Radio's Josh Hasten. during an interview on the Israel Hasbara Hour.
"One is the right of the Jewish people to our homeland, and our right to our homeland does not stop exactly east of the 1949 armistice demarcation lines, also known as the 'Green Line.' It has no historic significance whatsoever. It just marks a balance of military power back then, in 1948 or 1949, between [Israel's] local Arab neighbors and the newborn state of Israel in their attempt to smother the baby state in its cradle. Our right to our land – Including of course to the cradle of our history in Judea and Samaria – is obvious," Begin said.
"There is also the question of national security, and we have had some experience in the the last twenty years under the banner 'territory for peace'... the actual events have been territory for terror. Every piece of land, every hectare, every acre, that was consigned to the PLO reign, became a haven of impunity for terrorism. And we should anticipate that once we transfer parts of our homeland to the PLO it will be, actually, an indirect transfer of land through the PLO to Hamas, and to Iran," Begin said.
Recent Events Prove Arab's True Intent
Begin cited the recent Fatah-Hamas "unity treaty" and “Naqba” unrest throughout Israel on May 15, which saw the infiltration of Northern Israel by over 100 Syrian radicals, along with riots throughout Judea and Samaria, as proof the Arab's have no intention of making peace with the Jewish state.
"I think in the last month people can see for themselves [what their intentions are] through the following events: the new agreement between the PLO and Hamas, who nobody doubts is openly bent on the destruction of the state of Israel, and then the May 15 marches on our borders marking the "devastation" or "calamity," that they claim was inflicted upon them by the very establishment of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948," Begin explained.
"Their real aim is not a a two state solution, but a two-stage solution. In the sense that they push us to the pre-1967, actually 1949 lines, and then push more through terrorism and other forms of political pressure in order to dwarf us and to try to erase the state of Israel, the Jewish state," Begin said.
"They did not mark the date in June," Begin said referring to the 1967 Six Day War, sometimes called the 'June War,' in which Israel liberated its eternal capitol and ancestral heartland. "After all, the 'occupation' so to speak of Judea and Samaria and Gaza started in June 1967. No, they mark the original May 15 date of the very birth of the Jewish state."
Israel's Hasbara Advantage
Begin conceded Israel starts at a public relations disadvantage due to the vastly greater sums the Arab world pours into its anti-Israel media efforts, but said Israel has a big advantage in its 'hasbara [public relations, ed.] war' because it doesn't have to "sell lies."
"It used to be Hasbara was translated 'propaganda,'" Begin explained. "Now they call it 'public diplomacy,' which is a little nicer. But years ago it was considered by Israelis to be 'propaganda' [and therefore beneath them, ed.] One of the nice things about our 'propaganda' is that we don't have to sell lies. We can suffice ourselves with telling people things as they are. We have to tell them the truth. And we have to ask them to judge. Because once they know the facts they will be able use moral judgment."
"[There was] a very important article written by Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen, written on May 16 as an op-ed article in the New York Times... [readers] will read it and see easily for themselves what kind of narrative, or actually what kind of lies, the PLO tries to sell intelligent people in America and elsewhere. Its untenable, its unacceptable, and it takes things to such an extreme in such a manner that we can easily prove the narrative is totally false," Begin said.
"Such articles will only help us,” Begin said optimistically. “I don't know if this would be efficient immediately It takes time, but people of good will, if they will stand up and work for truth – for morality – I think it would be a great help to the cause of real justice in our part of the world."
The entire interview can be downloaded here.