Rumors continue to swirl that the United States is on the cusp of brokering a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia that will require the Jewish state to make significant concessions facilitating the establishment of a Palestinian state.
But Member of Knesset Zvi Sukkot (Religious Zionism) says a viable, independent Palestinian state is a pipe dream, and one that Israel itself shouldn’t encourage.
“Most of the world still thinks that there is a chance to establish a Palestinian state here, but those who think that simply do not understand the territory,” Sukkot told Radio 103 early Sunday morning.
The national religious lawmaker clarified that he and his party are not against letting the Palestinian Arabs build, even in Area C, and reaching some kind of political arrangement with them. Just not one that results in Israel’s biblical heartland becoming yet another Arab state ruled by terrorist-supporting despots.
“We will not allow such a thing to happen. We are against them doing anything that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state,” said Sukkot. “And it’s not just a matter of ideology. A Palestinian state will threaten the security of the State of Israel.”
While peace with Saudi Arabia is the kind of game-changing diplomatic achievement that no politician can ignore, Sukkot stressed that the current government in particular must be wary of how it approaches the matter.
“When the most right-wing government ever [goes along with such a scheme], what will the next government do?” he warned. “We will not be party to effectively telling the world that building in the ‘West Bank’ (ie. Jewish settlement) is wrong.”
Sukkot is confident that the current government will never approve a Jewish settlement freeze, even if that means scuttling any chance of normalization with the Saudis.
He hinted that the previous normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (both of which would have required at least tacit Saudi approval) did not require any major concessions on Israel’s part, and the same should now be the case. “Our position on the issue is clear, we think that peace is made from a position of strength and in service to common interests,” said the Israeli. “Anything that harms the State of Israel, we will not be a part of it.”
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