MK Oren holds secret talk with PA envoy

Former Ambassador to US meets PA representative at Hebrew U., discusses shootings of terrorists, incitement and two state solution.

Ari Yashar ,

Michael Oren, Elias Zananiri
Michael Oren, Elias Zananiri
Dov Smith / Hebrew University

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) held a secret meeting Tuesday with Palestinian Authority (PA) representative Elias Zananiri, in an attempt to find ways to end the current Arab terror wave.

The meeting between Oren, a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and Zananiri, who is the deputy chairman of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction With the Israeli Society, was held at the initiative of Hebrew University's Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.

While both parties expressed sorrow that young Arab terrorists in their early teens have taken part in the lethal attacks, Zananiri condemned the "execution" of a female terrorist involved in a stabbing attack adjacent to Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market on Monday.

Oren objected to the term "execution," a term the PA has been regularly using in delegitimizing the defense of Israeli citizens, and stressed that the Israeli public supports the efforts of security forces trying to protect them. In the attack, two young female terrorists lightly wounded a 70-year-old Arab man they mistook for a Jew, before being shot while attacking another man.

The MK then referenced PA incitement, and opined that large portions of the Israeli public would be "willing to soften their positions" if the security threats from the Arab public would end.

In response, Zananiri claimed incitement is "also the enemy of the Palestinians," and offered to restart a tripartite committee between the PA, Israel and the US against incitement.

"There are Israelis who encourage us"

"In Israeli society there are enough social, political and national players that we in the Palestinian Authority can agree with, and that encourages us," said Zananiri in an apparent reference to the political left.

"In my opinion it is possible to resolve the conflict via serious negotiations and without bloodshed," he said, calling to "stop the current madness of mutual violence between the two sides.”

Oren for his part said he had no illusions about peace but nevertheless called for a two state solution establishing a "Palestine" in Israel's Biblical heartland.

“I believe in the solution of two states for two independent nations as a long-term goal," he said. "There are shared economic and other interests common to both nations and we need to prepare the ground toward this."

The talk of a solution comes even as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to condemn the murder of Israelis. He in fact largely set off the current terror wave by praising the blood shed in Jerusalem "for Allah" and calling to stop "filthy" Jews from visiting the Temple Mount.

Late last month Abbas said all of Israel is "the occupation," showing his intentions to conquer the entire state, and this month he revealed for the first time that he rejected the offer of a Palestinian state back in 2008.

Abbas in June gave credence to calls by Jewish nationalists arguing that a Palestinian state should be set up in Jordan, when he called Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs "one people living in two states."

Michael Oren, Elias Zananiri Dov Smith / Hebrew University


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