Gila Gamliel
Gila GamlielOffice of the Minister

Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel has presented her position against the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state on a number of occasions.

Minister Gamliel presented a plan to serve as an alternative to the establishment of a new Arab state in Judea and Samaria in an interview in the latest issue of Sovereignty, which was released today (Friday).

"The first reason that brings me to my positions is first and foremost our right to our land. This is the essential and key reason, but those who deny this historical and ideological reason, will have to explain the logic behind the idea of establishing another dictatorial state in the Middle East," Gamliel said.

The third reason, she said, is the harm which would come to Israel's citizens if a Palestinian Arab state would be established in Judea and Samaria. According to Gamliel, the security guarantees offered by the US and the international community are unconvincing at best. “We have learned over the years that on the subject of security, “if I am not for myself, who will be for me”. We have seen what happened to the multi-national force that was supposed to protect the calm on the northern border. It is clear to us that today, with Hezbollah and Iran sending forces into the region, if there were no Israeli forces in the Golan Heights, no one would be left to defend the citizens of Israel. The security of the State of Israel is our responsibility alone."

Despite her opposition to the establishment of a new Arab state in the middle of the Jewish homeland, Gamliel said that if, despite everything, if there was truly no other choice but to create a new Arab state, an alternative location for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state must be sought instead of Judea and Samaria.

"A Palestinian State is a dangerous idea for the State of Israel. Between the Jordan River and the sea there cannot, and must not, arise a Palestinian state. From my point of view, the most realistic alternative, and the only one under the existing circumstances, is Palestinian autonomy in Judea and Samaria. However, if it becomes clear that there is no alternative but to establish an actual Palestinian state, then this would be a regional problem, not just for Israel. Accordingly, it is appropriate that parts of the Arab countries, such as the Sinai Peninsula, should be considered."

Could such an idea catch on in the diplomatic-political arena?

"Absolutely. Any initiative might catch on the moment there is a lack of solutions, as long as there are those to act upon it. It is important to emphasize that the "Palestinian problem" does not only concern the State of Israel. It is indeed possible to act within the framework of a comprehensive plan that will allocate territory from the Sinai Peninsula, along with economic and other forms of aid to Egypt. And on the other side, to give the new entity the possibility of territorial contiguity with the Gaza Strip, which will provide accessibility with the sea, something that would bled well with the idea of an artificial island which [Transportation] Minister Yisrael Katz speaks of."

She said that the initiative would not require a transfer of population into the Sinai Peninsula, and that no Arab living in Judea and Samaria would have to leave their homes if they do not want to.

"They can choose to be outlying citizens of the state in Sinai, or choose to move there. This must be their choice. What we solve for us is the matter of citizenship, which has cast a shadow over us as a democratic state."