Labor Party chairman Yitzchak Herzog on Monday said that despite his party's strong antipathy to the current government, Labor will do everything necessary to ensure that any peace proposals or frameworks offered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be adopted by the Knesset. Labor, he said, would step in to bolster coalition partners supporting the proposals, casting their votes in favor to make up for the ones that would be cast against it by rightwing parties.
Labor would not seek any “favors” from the government for doing this, he said.
“We will provide a safety net for the government” in the event of a vote on a peace proposal, said Herzog. “We must ensure that Israel remain a Jewish and democratic state, living peacefully alongside a Palestinian state, with recognized borders that ensure our security.”
After weeks of diplomatic activity, Kerry is expected in the coming days to present what is expected to be at least a temporary agreement or framework for peace between Israel and the PA. The deal is expected to lay out the final goals and eventual shape of a final-status deal, with Israel committing to give up land in Judea and Samaria, and the PA expected by Kerry to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and to back off on some of its demands.
Part of that deal, said Herzog, will be an expectation that the Palestinians agree to give up the “right of return,” the demand that the descendants of Arabs who fled the newly-established state in 1948 return to their family's property. Labor would not support a deal that included that demand. “That is outside the consensus,” Herzog said.
If or when Kerry does present a plan, said Herzog, he expected both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to adopt it. “They need to answer the call of history,” said Herzog.