Yaalon hasn't given up on territorial concessions

Former Defense Minister points out failure of Oslo - but calls not to close the door on giving up land for a future Palestinian state.

Shimon Cohen,

Yaalon speaking at Hebrew university
Yaalon speaking at Hebrew university
Hebrew University

Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has claimed in recent years that he has become disillusioned with the Oslo idea, but his words at the Hebrew University yesterday seem to indicate that he still supports relinquishing territory for the establishment of a future Palestinian state, albeit in the distant future.

Yaalon spoke within the framework of an international forum marking 50 years since the 6-Day War held by Hebrew University’s Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace about the consequences of the war on Israeli society and the Middle East.

During his speech, Yaalon mentioned disillusionment with Oslo, but immediately went on to establish that a vision of territorial concession must be preserved: “The question of Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza is still the same today. Within the context of an agreement - the reality has changed, and it is not possible to talk in the terms of ‘67 - ‘land for peace.’ Reality has proven differently: Following Oslo, we experienced ‘land for terror,’ with over 1,000 people killed and, following the Disengagement - ‘land for thousands of rockets.’”

“Abbas didn’t respond to Obama’s proposal in 2014, just as he didn’t respond to Olmert’s proposal after Annapolis, and just as Arafat refused Barak and Clinton’s proposal in 2000. We need to be realistic with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and decide what is in our interest - to separate or not.”

“I don’t believe that we will come to an agreement any time soon, but I don’t want to control them and live in a binational state.”

“In practice, we are like conjoined twins for whom cutting the umbilical cord between them will manifest an immediate danger to both of them. Their economy is connected to ours, as is their infrastructure. Without our water and electricity, they die, and a process of disengagement like this will bring a humanitarian crisis that will explode in our faces. We need to maintain political separation, and not block the possibility of territorial separation and, in the meantime, advance economy, infrastructure, and security.”

He added, “If the international system wants to help, it needs to condition financial aid to the PA on ending incitement and education to terror, and stopping payments to terrorists and their families.”