Gabbay: The PA must stop the incitement

Labor chairman calls for two-state solution, but stresses both sides must take steps to rebuild trust.

Elad Benari ,

Avi Gabbay at AIPAC 2018
Avi Gabbay at AIPAC 2018

Labor party leader Avi Gabbay spoke on Sunday at the AIPAC 2018 Policy Conference.

He described Jerusalem as “the heart and soul of Israel” and added, “We thank President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as our eternal capital.”

“I join you today as the head of Israel’s Labor party and its candidate for prime minister. Our main agenda addresses security, peace and an economy that serves all citizens,” he said.

“We will never compromise on the security of our country. We must have an aggressive security policy. We will not allow any regime that calls for the destruction of our country to act on its word. We will not allow Iran to have nuclear capabilities, we will not allow Hezbollah to harm the people of northern Israel, just as we will not allow Hamas to harm the people of northern Israel.”

Israel must have security even with peace, said Gabbay, who stressed the importance of the United States-Israel partnership in achieving security.

“We must keep this support for Israel bipartisan. This is a strategic asset for Israel’s security, and your work here is more important today than ever before.”

Addressing the issue of the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict, the Labor chairman called for a two-state solution that will include a demilitarized Palestinian state.

“We must separate ourselves from the Palestinians. I will work for the safe and secure state of Israel alongside a demilitarized state for the Palestinian people,” he said, while also stressing that in order to achieve peace, the Palestinian Authority (PA) must end the incitement against Israel.

“Success in negotiations depends on trust. We must start by rebuilding trust. There are steps each side must take. The Palestinian incitement must end immediately, because it has anti-Semitic parts, it leads to terror attacks, and it moves the Israeli public away form peace. Part of ending the incitement is ending the incentives. The Palestinian Authority must stop paying terrorists,” stressed Gabbay.

On the Israeli side, said Gabbay, “we must stop building caravans on hilltops and glorifying these settlements because they do not provide any security value to Israel. We must double down on economic corporation. I believe that peace will ensure the long-term security of Israel and with this peace, Israel will not just be a part of the Middle East but will lead the Middle East.”

He called for an Israeli economy that is free of corruption, saying, “As a people, as a nation, we are better than some of the news coming from Israel.”

“The best friends of Israel are the people in this room here today,” said Gabbay. “On behalf of all Israelis, including the loud and vocal opposition that I lead, thank you for your support. I will keep fighting for the Israel that we love.”