Former defense minister tells Herzliya Conference, 'If we wait another year without any productive steps towards peace, Hezbollah will not allow this calmness to continue.' Elliot Abrams: Arab leaders think West Bank looks like Yemen or Geneva
Ynetnews Published: 02.01.10, 19:35 / Israel News
Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), a former minister of defense and IDF chief of staff, told the Herzliya Conference on Monday that a plan for the two-state solution must be implemented as soon as possible.
He suggested that Israel needs to have defendable borders and that a future the Palestinian state will cover 60% of the West Bank. “My plan is very basic, but it is a plan that can be implemented and implementation is key...We have a window of opportunity (while things are calm) and we must negotiate now to give hope to both sides. If we wait another year without any productive steps towards peace, Hezbollah will not allow this calmness to continue.”
Former White House advisor, Elliot Abrams, elaborated on the negotiations saying that it is not just the Palestinian support that we are dealing with, but the Arab nations as a whole. The Arab League involvement however is limited.
“Almost no Arab leader has set foot into the West Bank. They know nothing about it. They think it looks like Yemen or Geneva. How can they expect to make something out of nothing?” They need to help monetarily to help the bottom up process be actualized," he said.
Top Defense Ministry official Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad agreed, but insisted on proceeding with caution. “As long as Hamas exists, no peace agreement can be made. Hamas needs to disappear,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor specified that unlike Mofaz’s plan to create the Palestinian state and deal with the issue of refugees at a later point, everything needs to be put on the table now. He warned against the illusion of stability saying, “We cannot promise success, but we cannot do nothing either.”
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