Likud MK: Jerusalem on the table, right of return is not
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Israel will accept a peace agreement that includes handing over Arab parts of Jerusalem, senior Likud lawmaker Tzachi Hanegbi said.
“I think we will be able to give a good answer, a win-win answer, to almost every issue including the Jerusalem issue, including the settlement issue,” Hanegbi said while speaking as part of a panel of Israeli lawmakers at the J Street national conference in Washington.
“We do know the two-state solution is the only relevant solution, even to those right-wing members of Knesset,” Hanegbi said. “I think they understand the alternative — escalation and bloodshed, or one state — is not an option if you want to keep a Jewish, Zionist state.”
Hanegbi said the question of Palestinian refugees returning to Israel was the one issue on which there could be no compromise in the recently revived peace talks.
In comments at a news conference following the panel discussion, Hanegbi described how he could convince more conservative members of his party that a two-state solution would be acceptable.
Hanegbi was joined on the panel by lawmakers from the Yesh Atid, Labor, Hatnua and Shas parties. Udi Segal, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s Channel 2 News, served as the moderator.
The diverse representation was perhaps a sign of the transition by J Street, which describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” from an organization shunned by the Israeli government and standard-bearing American Jewish organizations to one more accepted by the mainstream.
Also Sept. 29 at the J Street conference, Israeli opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich reiterated that her Labor Party would provide political cover for Netanyahu in the event he reaches a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“Those who support a binational state are in fact promoting a bleak scenario that completely contradicts the basis of Zionism,” Yachimovich said. “The two-state solution is the only viable solution for us.” — jta
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