Arutz Sheva spoke to the Deputy Minister of the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, MK Ayoob Kara (Likud), at the first International Regional Cooperation Conference in Tel Aviv.
Asked whether regional cooperation is possible with so much tension in the region, Kara said he believed it is indeed possible.
“The fact that people came from the Palestinian Authority to be here today means that they want to cooperate with Israel,” he said. “They think that it’s very dangerous for the Palestinian Authority to unilaterally ask for an independent state. It’s in their interest to continue to cooperate with Israel and I think this conference says it all.”
Kara suggested that Israel should be speaking to the local PA businesspeople rather than with the PA’s leaders.
“I think that we must connect to the citizens, to the businessmen,” he said. “This is the solution to the big mistake that the PA leadership is making. The PA only represents five percent of the people on the street and is going with the unilateral statehood bid for its own interests.”
Kara also addressed the fact that he is a Druze who is one of the most conservative and outspoken members of the Knesset and a strong supporter of Israel.
“I’m an Israeli and a Druze,” he said. “That’s how G-d created me and even [Shas spiritual leader] Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, may he live a long life, said to me: ‘We need you to be a Druze and not a Jew because you would not have given us so much had you been a Jew as you do as a Druze.’”
“My point of view is Israeli, patriotic, moral, and ideological,” added Kara. “I have to make sure that the land of Israel is kept in the hands of the people of Israel.”