PM's in-law to Arab press: He wants no Palestine

Dr. Ben-Artzi tells Al Jazeera in interview that Netanyahu really opposes Palestinian state, but is playing 'insincere maneuver.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hagai Ben-Artzi
Hagai Ben-Artzi
Arutz Sheva

Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, gave an unusual interview to the Qatari paper Al Jazeera from his home in Beit El, Judea, which was published on Saturday.

Ben-Artzi had criticism for his brother-in-law's ambiguous policies. He began by noting on the current Arab terror wave, saying, "this conflict eventually will be decided when one side will prevail, but until that day we will have the conflict ongoing from time to time, sometimes a little bit stronger sometimes a little bit weaker."

Sarah Netanyahu's brother noted that the Arab terrorism in Israel has been ongoing for 100 years, and firmly rejected the notion that a diplomatic solution is possible.

Such a a solution is impossible, he said, "mainly because - as far as I understand Islam, as far as I understand the Palestinian movement - the existence of a sovereign Jewish state even smaller, even just in the area of Tel Aviv, is something that is unacceptable on a religious basis, an Islamic basis, a national basis."

The problem therefore cannot be solved by dividing the land, and Ben-Artzi noted that the more concessions Israel has made - including the 1994 Oslo Accords and the 2005 Disengagement plan from Gaza - "the stronger the Palestinian resistance and war became."

"As a religious person I am willing to live in the state of Israel until God will fulfill his promise to make Islam and Christianity understand and accept the sovereignty of the Jewish people in Israel," he stated.

Speaking about the importance of Judea and Samaria, the Biblical heartland of Israel, he noted, "it's written in the Bible, it's written in the Koran that the Jewish people lived in this land, they lived in Jerusalem, Beit El - they didn't live in Tel Aviv."

"From a religious, historical and legal point of view I regard the settlements here as legal and legitimate," he stated, in comments backed up by the 2012 Levy Report that found Israel's presence in the region is legal according to international law.

"Netanyahu is playing a two-state tactic"

Ben-Artzi was then asked to speak about his brother-in-law and the "two-state solution," by which Israel would create an Arab state in Judea and Samaria.

"Unfortunately, the Israeli government, including my brother-in-law, Benjamin Netanyahu, they, unfortunately - I'm sad to say that - agreed to the two state solution," he said.

"And here, I must say that I have read very carefully, I have also taken part with my brother-in-law in writing his book, in his famous book, 'A Place Among the Nations.' He writes very clearly against the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Ben-Artzi explained that he feels Netanyahu "made a maneuver, some kind of tactic: 'I will say that I agree, but I will act against it.' I don't think it's a good move, although it's regarded as sophisticated; but I have told him several times, 'you have to be sincere,' and I believe, and I know that in his heart and in his mind, he is against the Palestinian state."

Asked by the Al Jazeera reporter if Netanyahu is lying to the world by saying he supports the two-state solution, Ben-Artzi said, "I think that what he is trying to do is to say 'I agree' but to set conditions that he believes will be absolutely unacceptable to the Palestinian side and, as a result, 'I will be good.'"

"The international community will say, 'oh, he's supporting peace because he is in favor of a Palestinian state.' But, in fact, it won't happen because he sets so many conditions that it makes it impossible, practically speaking."

"So it's not really lying; he is saying, 'I'm in favor,'" he continued. "For example: 'I'm in favor of flying in the air, but on condition that you give me a plane. You are not going to give me a plane, and so I won't fly in the air.' Something like this."

Netanyahu's brother-in-law said, "my dispute with him is that I think it makes bad public relations. You have to be sincere and authentic and you can say clearly what you really believe. That a Palestinian state is not justified on an historical base, a religious and national, strategic and economic (basis), say what you wrote in your book, and I do believe that he still believes what he wrote in his book."

When asked in conclusion "how many have to die?" by the Arab reporter, Ben-Artzi responded, "you know who will determine how many people will have to die? God in heaven."

Al Jazeera then went on to interview Arab rioters taking part in daily attacks against Israeli motorists and security forces.