Not much, and if you blink you’ll miss it:
Economics Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett took his message to the international media last night, in an interview with CNN.
Dismissing suggestions that Israel was responsible for the collapse of peace talks by building homes in Jerusalem, Bennett pointed out that the talks had already ground to a halt after PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to even recognize Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people, while simultaneously demanding Israeli recognition of a “Palestinian homeland.”
“The reality… is that the era of these negotiations is over – it’s time for plan B… a new approach,” he said. “The approach that we’ve been applying for 20 years now clearly has reached its end.”
Bennett rejected out of hand calls for Israel to freeze construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, as part of proposals to eventually partition the city between the Jewish state and a future “Palestinian state”.
“Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for just about 3,000 years, and just like I would never suggest to freeze building in London, where you’re sitting” Israel should not be expected to “freeze our own building in our own state”, he said.
Responding to his interviewer’s claim that “there has been Palestinian life in Jerusalem for thousands of years,” he retorted: “You’re talking about a Palestinian presence? Has there ever been a Palestinian state? Show me what its flag was, show me what its anthem was, show me who its leader is – show me anything that mentions the word ‘Palestinians’ more than 65 or 80 years ago.
“There has never been ‘Palestinian state’ – that’s one of the big lies that they’ve managed to press forward. The reality is that it’s been the Jewish land for 3,000 years, it’s still our land.”
Readers may have noticed I’ve dropped the affectation “palestinian” from the site almost entirely, preferring the more accurate term “Arab”—sometimes “Palestinian Arab”. Bloodthirstan aside, I don’t write about fictonal places.
That’s why I write about Israel:
Naftali Bennett has drafted a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night, demanding that Israel establish full sovereignty over “settlement blocs” in Judea and Samaria.
“It is clear that the current process has run its course and we are entering a new era,” he stated. “For years now we have been slamming our heads against the wall repeatedly during negotiations – and not surprisingly the wall is not broken.”
“It is time for a new way of thinking,” he continued. “I ask you to hold a hearing as soon as possible on an alternative plan (Plan B) to start a process of applying Israeli sovereignty over those areas in Judea and Samaria which are controlled by Israel – Gush Ariel, Gush Etzion, Beit El, Ma’aleh Adumim and more.”
Bennett pointed out that those areas – including Gush Etzion, the Ariel and Bet El ‘blocs’ and Maale Adumim, among others – contain a large Jewish majority.
“In these areas live about 400 thousand Israelis – and only tens of thousands of individual Palestinians,” he noted. “These areas are widely thought to be agreed upon in national consensus and have security significance, historical significance, and value ??for the State of Israel.
“The process will be similar to Israel establishing sovereignty over Jerusalem during the Eshkol government and the Golan Heights during the Begin government,” he noted.
And maybe even sovereignty over—dare I say it—the Temple Mount?