Otzma Yehudit MK and Minister of Heritage Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu spoke at the Arutz Sheva Israel Heritage Foundation Yom Yerushalayim celebration dinner held in Manhattan.
"The problem is not Israeli Arabs or Palestinians," he said. "It's the fact that many Israelis don't believe that we're right. They don't believe that Judea and Samaria belong to us. Many prefer to ignore our history and heritage. They tell themselves a narrative that's not true, not right, and not surprisingly - doesn't work.
"I'm holding a 2,000-year-old coin found near Mount Gerizim (near Shechem) which bears the Hebrew inscription: G-d is One," he declared. "The writing is in Hebrew - not Arabic or some Muslim language.
"When we stop talking about our identity and our heritage, we cut ourselves off from ourselves," he continued. "In Oslo, this disconnect did not bring peace. It created a baseless lie that can never succeed.
"Last week I visited an Arab state whose identity I cannot reveal at the moment," said Eliyahu. "I told them that Israel belongs to the Jewish people. To no one's surprise, this didn't distance them - it only made them [respect] us more."
"They're not the problem," he repeated. "It's us. We're not proud of ourselves, we're not happy to be who we are, and we don't realize how lucky we are to have the Land of Israel," he pointed out.
Eliyahu went on to tell a story about Amos Oz, one of the most famous Israeli writers renowned for his left-wing views, who passed away four and a half years ago. "Oz once wrote that he was a Zionist - but a 'sad' Zionist," he said. "I want to tell him that we're Zionists who are proud of our heritage," exclaimed the minister.