Former Shin Bet head: Great achievement for Israel, blow to PA

Yoram Cohen warns Israel moving away from 'Two-State disaster' towards 'One-State' disaster.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Trump and Netanyahu
Trump and Netanyahu
Reuters

Former Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen reacted to the release of US President Donald Trump's 'Deal of the Century' Wednesday.

"In Israel's view, a great achievement. We have received almost all of our security demands. I think we are moving away from the two-state disaster, but we may find ourselves going to a new disaster called one-state," Cohen said in an interview with 103 FM.

Cohen explained how he believed a new intifada could start. "Once the Palestinian leadership pushes the people or lets them realize that they are in a very undesirable position, it can get out of control."

"From Israel's point of view, this is a great achievement. Nothing to say. We have received almost all of our security requirements we've sought for years. Continued counterterrorism in the West Bank, security in the Jordan Valley as well, the request for Gaza disarmament and responsibility for counterterrorism after gicing them a state or autonomy. We've got everything we want except the safe passage issue, but I'm not sure we'll really get to it.

"The most dramatic things are Jerusalem and the Old City that will remain under Israeli sovereignty, the legitimization of all settlement in the US, the abolishment of the right of return and transfer 30% of Judea and Samaria to Israeli sovereignty. In this area I think Israel has great achievements.

"There are also things we need to think about from the Palestinian perspective. Thanks are due to the Israeli government, the Prime Minister's team and the President of the United States, but I can see what we are going for. In my understanding, even if in the future they accept a Palestinian state, we move away from the two-state disaster and may find ourselves with a new disaster called a single state.

"The Palestinians are in a situation where recognition of the state is contingent upon all kinds of future clauses, limited sovereignty, smaller borders, no return, no Jerusalem. They don't get much today with financial compensation. In a situation where they will not stand alone, we may slip into a situation that we do not want when we become one state."

If one state is a disaster and two states it is a disaster. What is the solution?

"Reduce the conflict. Go for something in the middle. We walk on a narrow strip when there are two abyss. Time plays against us."

If you were the head of the Shin Bet and the prime minister would ask you whether to annex now, what would you recommend to him?

"I would advise him to do all these things under a unity government with a broad consensus in the State of Israel. This has serious security and international implications, so we should do them in a consensus when everyone understands the implications. I would not do so in a transitional government or a minority government, no matter what its color. If we go to unilateral annexation of the area unilaterally tomorrow morning, we have no one alone, neither in the security aspect nor in our neighbors.

"We do not want to deteriorate into a broad escalation with the Palestinians, which is necessarily linked to the Palestinian leadership. If they push their public to confront the IDF we do not know where we will go. Therefore, I would do these things wisely, in a measured way with consensus. I would deal with the Palestinians in a multitude of areas we can do and to date we have not done this."

If the prime minister decides to annex, do the Palestinians have any energy for real violence?

"It depends very much on the Palestinian leadership. No matter what they say publicly. Once they show people they are unwanted and they have nothing left but to act aggressively - things can get out of control. A few years ago, the Knife Intifada broke out, once they did not respond for a period, and these things got worse, which is why the Palestinian arena and its leadership are significant.

"We have to remember that the Palestinians made a lot of mistakes. Detatching from the Israeli leadership, support for BDS, running to the Security Council without trying to reach arrangements and understandings while making economic progress. They paid the price for hostility to Israel and the financing of terrorism. They've buried a hole for themselves and the American leadership doesn't accept it."




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