Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich called for an immediate renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in a Sunday press conference in Tel Aviv, clarifying her party’s position amid widespread criticism for being too ambiguous when it comes to security and diplomacy issues.
“Our point of view is clear: two states for two nations according to the Clinton parameters, while safekeeping the settlement bloc’s future,” Yachimovich said at the conference. “The only alternative is a binational state.”
Then-US President Bill Clinton offered guidelines for a permanent-status agreement during the Camp David Summit in 2000, months before the Palestinians embarked on the Second Intifada.
Yachimovich outlined her party’s benchmark positions when it comes to negotiations with the Palestinians: “Ending Palestinian demands, ensuring security arrangements, relinquishing the [Palestinian] right of return, and recognizing Israel as a Jewish and democratic state must be an inevitable result of these talks.”
Labor MK Benjamin Ben Eliezer, who is chairman of Labor’s security-diplomatic campaign task force, addressed other regional challenges his party would strive to address, such as preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, stabilizing diplomatic relations with Turkey and Egypt, and strengthening Israel’s military deterrence.
Although Yachimovich has faced criticism from both left and right for focusing solely on social and economic issues, while steering clear of security and diplomacy-related issues, she continued to stress that Labor is committed first and foremost to social justice. “It is important to emphasize — society and economics first,” she reiterated.
“Even if peace breaks out all across the Middle East, but we are still a society with inequality between poor and rich, it cannot assist in achieving the Zionist dream of producing an exemplary state.”