Minister Elkin
Minister ElkinHezki Baruch

In an interview to Israel’s Kan channel, Israel State Security Cabinet member Zeev Elkin said he was unenthusiastic about the House of Representatives’ recent decision on Israel, because the decision expressed support for establishment of a Palestinian state.

"A Palestinian state is not the solution," Elkin said. “It is instead the root of the problem. And therefore I am not enthusiastic about this decision".

Elkin explained that since the resolution incorporated two-state solution language, supporting establishment of a new Palestinian-Arab area with statehood status, he had refrained from issuing any statement of support for the resolution.

Elkin said the only advantage of the decision is that a large majority of the Democratic Party had stood up against its radical anti-Israeli minority. He called this "an important process of containment within the Democratic Party". The Kan interviewer asked whether from the State of Israel’s standpoint, it was worth taking the risk of insertion of two-state solution language, in order to achieve this containment within the Democratic Party. Elkin replied that "No one asked us", in view of the fact that in the Democratic Party, "everyone is in favor of a Palestinian state".

Since the November 2018 midterm elections, the Democratic Party enjoys a majority in the House of Representatives.

"We need to invest in public opinion in the United States," Elkin concluded, noting with approval that the United States is a "true democracy" and therefore Congress acts according to public opinion.

Elkin is a member of Israel’s ruling party, the Likud. The Likud as well as Israel’s traditional/Orthodox right wing parties, strongly oppose establishment of a Palestinian state in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. These parties enjoy a majority in the Israeli electorate. Some although not all parties in the Israeli left still support establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Israeli right argues that the Arab nation, of which the Palestinian Arabs are a part, was awarded many states by the international community and that these countries, unlike Israel’s vicinity, are not densely populated. Therefore, the Israeli right has long argued, no additional Arab state need be established within the over-populated mandatory Land of Israel, nestled between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. This area alone was recognized as the sole homeland of the Jewish people by the international community responsive to the Balfour Declaration, the Israeli Right points out. Israel’s Right also charges that establishment of an Arab state overlooking the population centers of the Jewish state would constitute an existential security threat for Israel.

Elkin serves on the Government of Israel’s State Security Cabinet and is also Minister of Jerusalem Affairs. He previously served as the Government of Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Israeli Knesset's statutory Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.