Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said on Sunday that holding negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) based on the indefensible pre-1967 borders would be a “red line”.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Elkin was asked to comment on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comments in television interviews on Friday, where he said that not all the communities in Judea and Samaria will be part of Israel in a peace agreement.
“In the final agreement that Netanyahu sees, if he has a partner, not all the communities will remain a part of Israel,” said Elkin. “This is one of the reasons that I am against a Palestinian state. There is controversy over Netanyahu’s view within the Likud, but right now this controversy is purely theoretical, because there is no one on the other side willing to pursue an agreement along the lines that Netanyahu is willing to, i.e. keeping Jerusalem united, not on the basis of the pre-1967 borders and with recognition of a Jewish state.”
Elkin continued and said that if there are even thoughts about holding negotiations based on the pre-1967 borders, “we will have to strongly oppose it,” adding that such a move would be a “red line” for the MKs from the Likud.
“Even if we know that [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas says no, the very fact that a leader from the right agrees to negotiate based on the pre-1967 lines would be absolutely unprecedented,” he said, adding, “Hopefully it will not happen. Netanyahu, for many years, has not agreed to this despite heavy U.S. pressure and I hope he will continue to refuse. This is a red line because [f Netanyahu agreed] then it’s no longer a theoretical matter. It can become a practical matter and we will have to stand on our hind legs against such a move.”
"The Americans can take this position, it has always been their position. The Palestinians have always demanded it, but the Israeli government, and certainly a right-wing government, never agreed to negotiate based on the pre-1967 borders,” said Elkin.
One of the PA’s long-standing preconditions for peace is an Israeli withdrawal to the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War. Withdrawing to these borders, which former Foreign Minister Abba Eban referred to as the “Auschwitz borders”, would place central Israel, including the Ben Gurion Airport, under the threat of missiles and would guarantee Israel’s destruction.
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) recently likened an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders to jumping off a skyscraper.