Two statements made this past week by Israel’s current Defence Minister– Benny Gantz – could see his run for Israel’s next Prime Minister ended after it has just started.
Gantz told Kan Reshet Bet:
"Those who, in a clear left-wing position, consider 'two states for two peoples' as a solution are living in an illusion, and those who, in a radical right-wing position, think of a state without Arabs in the 'West Bank', are living in a greater illusion,"
Gantz has apparently not heard of or read the 2022 Saudi Peace Plan published on 8 June – which provides for the merger of Jordan, Gaza and parts of the 'West Bank' into one territorial entity to be called The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine.
Implementation of the Saudi plan in the 'West Bank' could possibly see:
- The State of Israel – sovereign in about 30% (designated green and yellow) on this leaked map - where 1% of the 'West Bank' Arab population live.
- The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine – sovereign in about the remaining 70% (designated red) - where 99% of the 'West Bank' Arab population resides:
Constructing a network of tunnels and roads will enable this subdivision.
Gantz committed an even bigger gaffe - telling 103 FM Radio:
"I repeat and insist that Jerusalem is the unified capital of the State of Israel ... And I do not see how we can continue towards an arrangement [with the Palestinians] in the coming years, but we must begin by initiating processes to reduce the conflict and strengthen security ... There are villages in the east that the Palestinian [Arab]s call Jerusalem, and they are not in the metropolitan area of Jerusalem. It is possible to define them as a capital."
These comments indicate that he is totally clueless, especially about the Saudi Plan’s following features:
- The capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine is to be Amman – not Jerusalem
Implementing the Saudi plan can be successfully concluded in months - not years –requiring negotiations to determine:
-who exercises security control in the territory of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine west of the Jordan River
-the demarcation line between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine
-custodianship of the Islamic Holy Sites in Jerusalem
Gantz is ignorant of the Saudi Plan’s promised further outcomes:
-Abandonment of the 74 years-old claim to the right of return
-Consigning a separate Palestinian Arab State between Jordan and Israel to the diplomatic graveyard – promoted unsuccessfully by the United Nations for the last 29 years
-Palestinians in the 'West Bank', Gaza and stateless refugees get full citizenship in the merged Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine with all the elements of sovereignty applicable to those Territories that belonging to a fully recognized state in the UN entail.
I have written to Gantz asking him to answer 5 questions for inclusion in this article:
-When he first became aware of the Saudi plan?
-Has he commented on the Saudi plan since its release on 8 June 2022?
-If so - when and where were such comments published?
-If he has made no comment - would he like to make any comment on the Saudi plan that I can publish verbatim and attribute to him?
-Is he prepared to promise Israeli voters that he will use his best endeavours to implement the Saudi plan if he becomes Israel's next Prime Minister?
No response has been received.
Gantz is certainly not that de Gaulle – he is de Goose – a fool.
Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.