MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) said on Monday that he was “absolutely in favor” of ending the talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
"I'm not in favor of continuing negotiations. I am in favor of us creating peace on the ground, first and foremost by annexing Judea and Samaria in stages, first in area C,” he told Arutz Sheva. “The Arabs would have better lives under Israeli sovereignty than anywhere else. Am I in favor of blowing up the talks? Absolutely. Let’s take things into our hands and give the Palestinians better lives than they would get in any other state.”
Yogev added that contacts with the Palestinian Arabs should be ongoing, but certainly not with the PA, which continues to incite against Israel even as talks are held.
"We should continue our relationship with the Palestinians, but not necessarily with the PA which seeks our destruction, and educates its children and its future generations towards that destruction,” he said. “There's nothing to talk to them about and certainly we should not make any ‘gestures’ to them. As for the American pressure, we have to know how to handle it.”
Yogev also made clear that he opposes the idea of releasing Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel releasing more terrorists, in the wake of recent rumors that the United States was considering releasing Pollard as a way of convincing Israel to continue the talks.
Tying the Pollard issue with the peace talks and with releasing terrorists is wrong and immoral, Yogev declared.
"Pollard should have been released a long time ago,” he said. “His punishment has been far beyond proportional for such an offense. He is in his thirtieth year in prison. They wouldn’t even let him go to his father’s funeral or shiva. If we take into account the fact that he is ill, there is a humanitarian issue here."
Yogev continued, "If the Americans are thinking about using Pollard as a bargaining chip, then this is yet another step in the moral deterioration of the foreign policy of President Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, and we should not cooperate with this. I do not want to insult them. There is a lot of strategic cooperation between Israel and the U.S., but they have been showing their immorality bit by bit.”
“Pollard should be released unconditionally and murderous terrorists should not be released under any circumstances,” he added. “The U.S. would never release terrorists who carried out such cruel acts. Their pressure on us to release terrorists so negotiations continue, as well as pressuring us for a construction freeze, is one-sided and unethical, and tying Jonathan Pollard into it is grossly immoral.”
Yogev also said that he believed that Pollard himself would not want to see terrorists released in exchange for his release.
Asked what the Jewish Home party would do should the government go ahead with the planned release of the fourth batch of terrorists, he responded, “No decision has been made yet. I think we should do whatever needs to be done so that terrorist murderers are not released. I am aware that the government committed itself to doing it. I do not know what factored in the Cabinet’s decisions to do so, and therefore I do not wish to criticize those who made the decision to release terrorists. I should point out, however, that we made this ‘gesture’ and have received nothing back from the Palestinians.”