MK Benny Begin at Haaretz Conference
MK Benny Begin at Haaretz Conference Tomer Appelbaum

MK Benny Begin (Likud) on Thursday said he did not see any possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians on the horizon.

Speaking at the Haaretz Peace Conference, Begin said the Arab-Israeli conflict has no solution, because neither the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) nor Hamas will accept an agreement that includes recognition of Jewish sovereignty in any part of what they consider to be "Palestine".

"Many of us mistakenly think that if we can give up land, so can the PLO sign off on conceding land. The Palestinians never waived their right to the land,” Begin stressed.

He added that the PLO cannot sign an agreement that includes a waiver of the right of return and acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the Jewish people over the land of Israel.

"If someone thinks he can impose an agreement on the PLO, that is not possible. A change in the situation requires a change in the Arab leadership. Without an agreement we have to either leave [the disputed areas] or stay in them. Abandoning Gaza did not help, and hence the abandonment of Judea and Samaria will not help either," stated Begin.

At the same conference, MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) took a different view, saying that time is working against Israel.

"Recently it was said in a loud voice that we will forever live by the sword; this is a cowardly saying. Netanyahu's ‘forever’ is already here. Israeli citizens are eating swords everywhere, the government calls on them to arm themselves,” said Peretz, who was recently reportedly contemplating a return to the Labor party in the next election.

"We heard a resounding message that there will not be an American effort to advance the two-state solution and the right was excited. But we should be concerned about that. The Prime Minister is trying to convince the United States that he believes in the two-state solution. A Prime Minister who nobody believes,” he continued.

"Lack of personal security, social inequalities and cost of living are the result of a government without a vision. Israel needs visionary leadership, a functioning leadership," added Peretz.