Opposition head MK Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) on Wednesday afternoon met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, and in the course of the meeting presented his "separation" peace plan involving a regional effort to create a Palestinian state in Israel.
During the meeting, which is the fourth between the two in the last half-year, Kerry expressed interest in Herzog's plan, which would form a regional security committee consisting of Egypt, Jordan and Israel together with other Arab states.
This committee would coordinate a joint fight against radical Islamic terror, according to Herzog, and likewise advance "confidence building measures" in the Middle East. In a meeting with Kerry last November he clarified those measures would include "removing territories from Israel."
"The security situation cannot continue," Herzog told Kerry. "Israelis are murdered on the streets and the world is focusing on ridiculous initiatives and boycotts. This is an act of ignoring the reality."
Pushing his plan, Herzog said, "the separation plan is the only way to move things in the region and advance towards the vision of two states in the future. It won't be realized tomorrow morning, but if we want to succeed in creating a true prospect (for peace) we need to take drastic steps. To stop the big words."
"Israel cannot wait for long negotiations. Our citizens are murdered and we must make a process of separating (from the Palestinians) which will be the realistic basis for the vision of two states which I believe in with all my heart as the only solution to the conflict."
Herzog's words come even amidst a bitter spat that threatens to split his Labor faction, after he announced the "two-state solution" is not feasible at the current time due to the ongoing Arab terror wave without consulting his party members.
"By the end of Obama's term"
In his meeting with Kerry, Herzog added that the Americans must "advance the establishment of a regional security council with the participation of the moderate Arab states."
"The committee needs to take place before the end of President (Barack) Obama's term," added the MK, in apparent effort to get the lame duck president to force Israel's hand. The US administration of late has been seen as relatively anti-Israel, an impression strengthened this month by the revelation that the US has been spying on sensitive Israeli military programs for the past 18 years.
"This is an important step in the war on radical Islamic terror which threatens the entire Western world and countries in the Middle East in particular. In addition, a committee like this could be fertile ground to advance processes and security and confidence building measures in our region," concluded Herzog.
Long before he lost to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the last elections, Herzog outlined his national plan in December 2013, calling to divide Jerusalem and make enormous territorial concessions.
Ahead of the recent elections in May 2015, Herzog met with Kerry and US Vice President Joe Biden in Munich, in a meeting he tried to play down and disconnect from the elections amid accusations that he was trying to gain American support and harm the government's position.