MK Amir Peretz, chairman of the Labor-Gesher party, spoke on Sunday with Ben Caspit and Arieh Eldad on Radio 103FM about the tense weekend in Gaza, and also responded to the decision not to invite him to speak at the rally in memory of the late former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was chairman of the Labor Party.
How was the weekend in Sderot?
"If a political process were adopted along the lines of a military operation, I would consider it and even espouse it. The fact that there is a permanent conflict in the Gaza Strip makes the diplomatic need to engage in Judea and Samaria unnecessary. As long as this smoke screen exists, no one demands that something be done about Judea and Samaria."
We left Gaza during the Rabin days. Maybe this is the inheritance he left us?
"The missiles from Gaza starting falling in 2001, not 2005. The IDF was on the ground and the settlers were in their communities but were unable to prevent the missiles fired on Sderot. I live there. The question of quantities is a question of money and of who supports you. If there was a political move, the situation could be dealt with. Here we are just being worn out. First we blamed Hamas, then Islamic Jihad and now some lone commander. We need to stop talking to Hamas and return to talking with Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas -ed). We come to terms with the fact that there is no solution and that a standstill is the answer. The role of a government is to change reality and not accept it. I do not accept the fact that there is no solution and this is a predestination."
You were at the Rabin rally but you did not speak. There was an attempt yesterday to crown Gantz as Rabin's successor. Is that okay with you?
"It is clear to everyone that Rabin was assassinated as chairman of the Labor Party and the responsibility for his dynasty rests with me. The actions we carried out in the square, and my call for the entire public to come, testify to what really matters: to strengthen Rabin's memory and to talk about his legacy, including the Oslo Accord. I wonder why the Israeli governments, if they think it was so terrible, do not cancel the agreement? This agreement has such an important impact in protecting Israeli citizens. The Israeli government failed miserably and brought us to a state of acceptance of the situation in the Gaza Strip."