Five Knesset members from five parties and one inescapable conclusion – Israel needs a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians and it needs it now.
Moderated by Israel Channel 2’s Udi Segal, MKs Tzachi Hanegbi of Likud, Meir Sheetrit of HaT’nuah, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid, Yitzhak Vaknin of Shas and Merav Michaeli of Labor held a unique round table discussion on day two of the J Street National Conference.
Though they come from vastly different backgrounds and political traditions, the five agreed that reaching a two-state solution was strategically crucial to Israel’s survival as a democracy and Jewish homeland.
“The Prime Minister of Israel should say loudly and clearly, ‘I’m willing to establish a Palestinian state on the basis of the ’67 borders,” declared Sheetrit.
Calderon objected to the occupation of the West Bank on moral grounds, calling it a “sin.” Vaknin said every time Israel delayed reaching peace with the Palestinians, it paid a high price.
Asked whether Prime Minister Netanyahu was sincere in seeking peace, Hanegbi said he had changed in the past 20 years and now faced a choice of “making history or becoming history.”
Recalling that he had been bombarded with messages and calls urging him not to attend the J Street conference, the former minster said he had examined the J Street website and looked at its beliefs and concluded that the organization and its members were motivated by love of Israel and play an important role in the discussion about Israel’s future.