Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman told Arutz Sheva about his experiences at a recent meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, sponsored by the leftist Geneva Initiative – a group that favors a “peace deal” involving a large scale Israeli retreat from Judea and Samaria.
"I received an invitation to a meeting and I thought that I have an opportunity to sit opposite people who, in the past, were part of the attempt to liquidate the state of Israel, and are now willing to talk,” he explained. “I raised some tough questions and received answers, and now I am maintaining a dialog with them.”
As an example of “tough questions,” MK Lipman told of his response to the Arabs' statements, that the terrorist prisoners are “our soldiers” and that if the PA was holding Israeli prisoners, Israel would also want them freed as part of a peace deal.
Lipman said that he told the Arabs that if an Israeli soldier had used an axe to murder an old man who did nothing but walk down the street, no Israelis would be demanding his release, and Israelis would want to see him in jail also. Besides, he said, such attacks by Israelis don't take place at all. His Arab interlocutors, he said, had difficulty answering this.
Lipman also said that some of the Arabs he spoke to had themselves served time in Israeli jails. They said that they had had conversations with their jailers and grew to better understand the Israeli side. “I am not saying that they turned into saints, but something happened to them,” Lipman said.