Avi Gabbay
Avi GabbayFlash 90

Are the opinions of Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay really close to those of the members of his party?

On Sunday, speaking at a conference of Labor party activists in Dimona, Gabbay said that the Arabs must understand that Israel is stronger than they are.

"We have to understand a very simple thing - we are the strong ones here. They always scare us, but we are the stronger ones. We are stronger than the Arabs. We do not have to be afraid of them – the Arabs have to be afraid of us," Gabbay said.

"One cannot compromise [on the issue of security],” he continued. “One cannot just say, 'It's okay, I understand, they fired only one missile.' There is no such thing. If they fire one missile - you fire twenty. This is the only way they understand in the Middle East."

The Zionist Union chairman also addressed the issue of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and said, "I meet a lot of statesmen and security officials who dealt with the negotiations with the Palestinians. I ask everyone the question: Is there a partner? Half of them say no and half of them say yes. Surprisingly, people with a security background say that there is."

However, Gabbay said that he himself believes that "it is not certain that there is a partner on the other side."

His comments come a day after he said that he would not sit in the same coalition as the Arab Joint List party.

"We will not sit with them, unequivocally. I do not see anything that connects us to them," Gabbay said at a cultural event in Be'er Sheva.

Several weeks ago, Gabbay caused an uproar when he said that "Gush Etzion and Itamar are not the same thing for us."

The residents of Itamar later fired back, saying, "In his repeated attempts to revive the Zionist Union party from the death throes of the left, Avi Gabbay believes that the artificial severance between different parts of the homeland and an attempt to rewrite history will leave his party relevant.”

"If the chairman of the Zionist Union party would go back and read the history books of our young state, he would not be surprised to discover that 50 years ago all the parts of the homeland were liberated in Judea and Samaria, Gush Etzion and Itamar alike,” they added.