Knesset member Benny Begin asserts that there is “no solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Addressing the Haaretz conference, he also rules out reaching any sort of “agreement with Hamas.”
The Palestinian Authority “cannot sign a deal that includes giving up the Palestinian right of return” and recognizing the Jewish state, he says, noting that Israel cannot impose a peace deal on the PA.
There is an “entirely misguided assumption that the PA is the answer,” he adds.
In the absence of a viable peace deal, Israel has two options, he continues: unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, or continued Israeli sovereignty in the area. Pointing to the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, he says “there is no alternative” to remaining in the West Bank.
“Unfortunately, this basic situation is not going to change in the near future,” he says.
Considering his views and the makeup of the audience, his speech receives a surprising burst of applause.
— Marissa Newman