Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Golan, who joined Ehud Barak's fledgling party, says he does not rule out sitting in a cabinet with the Arab parties.
"If someone believes in a Jewish and democratic state that accepts minorities with a smile, we won't reject him. We reject only those who reject the very existence of the State," Golan said in an interview with Kan Bet on Monday.
After party Chairman Ehud Barak refused to relate directly to the question of whether he would form a government with the Arab parties, Golan was much more forthright: "We'll invite anyone who agrees with the principles I spoke about, including Ayman Odeh. There are twenty percent Arab residents here, do we want to disqualify them? Look at the approach of Ben-Gurion and Eshkol and Rabin and Begin to the Arab population. They had a welcoming attitude. I don't understand why we should take twenty percent of the residents of Israel and make them illegitimate."
Golan claimed that he is a "man of the Left but not a Leftist": "A Leftist is an expression with a third connotation, and it has no place. We are a determined and aggressive Left who knows how to lead the Nation of Israel to a democratic, Jewish, and worthy vision."
He spoke of his positions on the necessary steps in Judea and Samaria vis-à-vis the Arabs: "The main question facing Israel is whether we are going to annexation or separation. We are unequivocally in favor of separation. This separation can be expressed in all kinds of ways and we must enter a process that will ultimately lead to separation between the Jewish population and the Palestinian population."
Golan referred to a speech in which he said that he "identifies horrifying processes that took place in Europe" and did not express regret. "You have to look at the processes as they are, just take a look at the corruption of the government on the subject of the elections. We should have formed a coalition of the two big parties, the Likud and Blue and White. This happens because of corruption and corruption of one man. I think that everything I said, unfortunately is absolutely true, and what happened in the past three years only proves that."
He was also asked about the issue of treatment of the justice system. "There is a way to discuss the position of the Supreme Court, but the Israeli Supreme Court is a magnificent institution, even if there are things to correct that should be done in private, you understand that there was a party here in the last elections that ran a stupid and criminal slogan: 'One will defeat the Supreme Court and the other will defeat Hamas'? The very fact that such a slogan has come into being is criminal, it mustn't happen. We will not cooperate with wild incitement against the institutions of the State.
"We do not reject anyone who is a Zionist and in favor of a democratic and Jewish state, based on the values of the prophets and the Declaration of Independence. Whoever believes in these things we don't rule out. Many members of religious Zionism believe in these values. I object to the absolute opposition that defines anyone who has a kippah on his head as messianic and an extremist. We reject only people who reject the institutions of the State or do not believe in its very existence."