Kahlon: In the end there will be two states

Finance Minister urges opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog to join the coalition, says a Palestinian state will ultimately be established.

Elad Benari ,

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) on Saturday called on opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog to join the coalition, telling Channel 2 News in an interview, “At the end of the process there will be two states for two peoples here.”

“At times like this people need to have the courage to show leadership despite the political and media pressure,” Kahlon said of Herzog. “A leader must make decisions in difficult times. The government's door is still open, there are important and unmanned ministerial portfolios. I think there is a need [for Herzog] to make a decision and join the government.”

Referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s recent statements welcoming peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA), Kahlon told Channel 2, “We are not peace doves, we are people who want to push the peace process.”

“I do believe that Jews should settle in Israel, but at the end of the process there will be two states for two peoples here,” he added.

“I will not be surprised if we find a pragmatic minister who will (be open) to much more practical moves than it appears now,” Kahlon said of Liberman.

The comments mark the second time in recent days that Kahlon has urged Herzog’s Zionist Union to join the coalition. In his most recent comments, he hinted that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) may soon resume.

"The rumors and talk of a meaningful diplomatic process in our area have a much greater basis than some newspapers suggest. There is the possibility of a significant turnaround on the regional level," Kahlon said at a ceremony in Netanya.

"I call on the Zionist Union to join the government and not to miss this historic window of opportunity," he continued.

While talks between the Likud and the Zionist Union failed recently, Herzog suggested on Saturday he would reconsider joining a unity government.

Herzog did, however, present new conditions to joining, saying, "If Netanyahu kicks the Jewish Home out of the coalition, we will meet as a party and we will consider the issue.”

"Netanyahu chose to go with the extremists," he added. "It doesn't look like he is breaking up with them. I lead a strong and idealistic group. If he breaks away from the extreme right, we will meet and decide. I am the leader of a group but not a dictator. This party is not made up of a leader and a bunch of scarecrows."