Bennett: No to '67 Lines,' No to Splitting Jerusalem
The term “1967 lines” has been used regarding talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in reference to the PA claim of ownership to all land that was under Jordanian control between 1949 and 1967.
The words have been used to conceal the true weight of the concessions being demanded, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) warned Tuesday, in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies.
“Friends, the games are over. We won’t play with words anymore: the ’67 lines’ means splitting Jerusalem, and giving up the Mount of Olives – where Menachem Begin, Rabbi Kook, and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda are buried – and giving up the Kotel, the Temple Mount and the Old City,” he declared.
“How will history remember a leader who agrees to give up Jerusalem? How will it remember the first leader in Jewish history who dares to do that? And what’s more, to do it voluntarily?” Bennett asked.
“Is the prayer of Jews worldwide, ‘In Your mercy, return to Your city, Jerusalem’ a party slogan, which can be changed overnight?” he demanded.
A concession like that may win Israel temporary goodwill from the international community, Bennett said, but it would come at a high price: “another round of attacks and terrorism, which we would come into weaker than before, and with no moral right to defend ourselves after having declared that what is ours – is not ours,” he warned.
“These are the decisions that take real leadership,” he continued. “That we will never agree to give up Jerusalem, a united city under Israeli sovereignty, and only Israeli. We will not accept a terrorist Palestinian state, we will not accept an agreement based on the 67 lines.
“We will not exchange territory as if we were doing cut-and-paste on some Word document on the computer. We will not agree to a border along Highway 6, meaning rockets on Highway 4.
“We will not stay in a government that endangers our children’s future and divides our capital due to international pressure. We won’t sit in a government that makes the easy, and dangerous, decision,” he declared.
Regarding international pressure on Israel, Bennett said, “We didn’t come here in order to be the world’s experiment… We will make decisions about ourselves by ourselves, for the simple reason that only we will pay the price… Are those who pressure us today going to be killed in our place tomorrow?”
Israel should not fear standing up to international pressure argued Bennett, saying “We’ve had great leaders in Israel who knew how to say ‘no.’ We survived.”