Gabbay on peace: Time to stop the 'blame game'

Zionist Union chairman says Israel-PA peace would benefit Israel’s security and economy.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Avi Gabbay
Avi Gabbay
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay said on Saturday that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would benefit Israel’s security, and called for an end to the “blame game” between the sides.

“A long-term peace agreement is our guarantee for Israel's security. This is the future of our children and grandchildren, but unfortunately, in recent years we have witnessed a game of accusations instead of a diplomatic process. It's time to stop it. As prime minister, I will insist on ending the incitement in the Palestinian Authority and will work for the Israeli interest in an attempt to create renewed hope for the region,” Gabbay said at the Saban Forum in Washington.

“When our children read the history books, they will see that the last decade will receive only a brief mention because nothing happened in it,” he continued.

“We need to begin building trust on both sides, with the participation of other Arab states from the region. Such measures include stopping the incitement on the Palestinian side and stopping construction outside the blocs on the Israeli side. At the same time, we can reduce the number of Palestinians currently under Israeli civilian control as long as there is no security reason for it,” added Gabbay.

“Beyond security, a peace agreement is worth 18 billion dollars a year to the Israeli economy. This is a huge sum, which means that it will be possible, for example, to completely eliminate the VAT in Israel, which means that the cost of living can be reduced by 15 percent if there is a long-term diplomatic agreement,” he noted.

Gabbay has made a series of statements recently, some of which have been criticized by members of his own party and have given the impression that he was leaning toward the right.

Last month he said that he was against evicting communities in Judea and Samaria because “you can't evacuate 100,000 people in any arrangement that may be, it's impractical and unrealistic and not sensible.”

Gabbay has also made clear that “I believe in territorial concessions, and in negotiations with the Palestinians. I also believe in a solution based on two states for two peoples, and a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty."