MK Attacks US's Use of Jewish Refugees to Gain Land Concessions
MK Nissim Ze'ev slammed what he said was an attempt by the US to encourage Israel to "sell out" Judea and Samaria by agreeing to include a clause by agreeing to include a clause compensating Jewish refugees from Arab lands into an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Ze'ev himself has been a longtime advocate for the rights of Jews who fled or were forcibly expelled from Arab lands in a concerted campaign of ethnic-cleansing by Arab states following the establishment of the State of Israel.
However, he noted that the clause does not make the framework deal, which calls for massive territorial concessions by Israel, any more palatable for the Jewish State.
"We are not selling-out the State of Israel to receive compensation for Jews from Arab countries," Ze'ev lamented to Arutz Sheva, saying that regardless of a deal those expelled should be paid reparations.
"Compensation should be given regardless of negotiations," he said "There are tens of thousands of Jews from Arab countries, especially from Iraq, Morocco and Egypt who left a large property, shops and homes and therefore we must raise their rights without giving up parts of the Land of Israel."
Roughly one million Jews were expelled or forced to flee from Arab countries around the time of the establishment of Israel in 1948. The assets they were forced to leave behind are estimated at around $4.4 billion.
Compensation for the refugees has been bounced around the legislative process since the State's inception, the clause's supporters claim. But MK Ze'ev does not believe that such a clause is worthy enough to let the State of Israel give away land.
"The framework agreement should be based - first and foremost - on security," Ze'ev added.
Responding to US pressure on Israel to accept the framework deal he stated that "I do not believe that the Palestinians want this agreement."
"I have never seen a situation where it's possible to force the bride and groom to get married when they do not want to just because the matchmaker wants the wedding," he quipped.
Despite his disapproval of the agreement itself, Ze'ev does not believe that government ministers should make personal remarks against US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"I believe that Kerry's job is to mediate," he stated. "From our side, it is our job to keep our culture [of not speaking negatively, i.e. lashon hara] intact and not fire back at the Secretary of State - but rather at US policy."