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October 8, 2013 5:52 pm

Israeli Intelligence Minister Steinitz Says He’s ‘Not Confident’ That Deal With PA Would Bring Peace (INTERVIEW)

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Israeli minister Yuval Steinitz at the 2012 Innovate. Invest. Israel. Conference. Photo: Israel's Ministry of Finance.

In a recent interview with The Algemeiner Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz said he was “not confident” that a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in the current ongoing negotiations, would bring peace to the region.

“You know, many Israelis are quite suspicious about the peace process, because they ask themselves, ‘What kind of peace are we going to get?'” he said, explaining that Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israelis has raised concern about the long term intentions of the Palestinian Authority.

“Abu Mazen (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) is not encouraging terrorism, but he is promoting such incitement that might lead to hatred and terrorism now and in the future,” he explained. “So if you educate people that sooner or later Jews should be killed or that Jews are terrible creatures that corrupt and harm their surroundings, you actually legitimize terrorism against Jews or against Israelis.”

Steinetz called PA incitement against Jews and Israel “a huge obstacle for the peace dialogue” and called on President Abbas to “stop immediately the terrible anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement in the Palestinian government-controlled media, and in the Palestinian education system.”

Seeing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda being spread by the Palestinians leaves Israelis very skeptical Steinitz asserted. “Look, what should Israelis think?” he asked. “On the one hand we celebrate the resumption of the peace talks all over the world together with our Palestinian counterparts and together with our American and European counterparts in English, and at the same time Israelis are exposed to this terrible hatred […] that is taking place on a daily basis in the Palestinian education system.  So Israelis are asking themselves, what kind of peace are we going to get at the end of the day?  Why should we make any concessions, difficult concessions on our side, if that’s the kind of peace that we are going to get – just a technical agreement, because the general idea is still that Israel is illegitimate and sooner or later should be destroyed.”

The minister also addressed the oft stated Israeli call for the PA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, explaining why his country deemed the issue to be so central.

“To say that they recognize Israel’s existence, this is nothing. Why?  Because the Iranians also recognize Israel’s existence. Hezbollah also recognizes Israel’s existence. Those who want to destroy us recognize that we already exist, because you cannot destroy what there is not,” he said. “Of course, everybody recognizes the fact that Israel does exist, but real recognition means that Israel has the right to exist as it was established, as a Jewish state.”

“That the Jewish people have the right, had the right, to establish their national state and the right to preserve their tiny national state and homeland.  This is a true recognition that can lead to peace,” he said, “and Abu Mazen was always careful […] not to recognize Israel’s right to exist as it is, as a Jewish state.”

“If Abu Mazen wants to stop incitement, first he has to tell his people, ‘We recognize Israel as a Jewish state. We recognize that this land belongs both to us, but also to the Jewish people and, therefore, we want some kind of settlement.’ […] This should be the beginning of the diplomatic approach.”

Steinitz also said that President Obama made clear that he understood the importance of PA recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, during his trip to the region earlier this year.

“You know, Obama made this crystal clear during his recent visit to Israel – he made the point not just in Israel but also in Ramallah while visiting Abu Mazen.  He said to the Palestinians, stop ignoring the unique historic bonds between the Jewish people and the land of Israel that have existed already for more than 3,000 years.  Obama told them.  Stop ignoring the existence of the Jewish people and the special connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel,” he said. “This was very good advice given by President Obama in Ramallah in front of Abu Mazen.”

“Until now Abu Mazen didn’t follow this advice,” Steinitz lamented.

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  • Moussia

    Arabs don’t want a 2-state solution.

  • by the way

    One time after another the palestinians claim that the occupation did not began at 1967 they makes their claim in a tricky way.
    E.g. The PLO (not PA ) statehood application sent on sep 5, 2011 to UNSC stresses:
    .. .”We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years.”…
    This bring us to 1948, this is the year arabs count the beginning of the Occupation.
    That is their aim, target, philosophy and tactics is to bind the occupation to the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel at May 1948.
    They refere to 1948 and not 1949 the year the Armistice Agreements were signed and formed the geography on the eve of the 6 day war.

  • Dan

    It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not “meet halfway” those who do not want to meet you.

    — The Ethics Of The Iron Wall: By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

    If Arabs wanted peace they would see the advantages of being citizens of Israel being proportionally represented in the Knesset. Arabs would enjoy the many facilities Israel has to offer, living standards, independence from Sharia law and domination by Saudi and Iranian politico-theologists. Israeli Arabs would have access to decent employment at a normal rate of pay and of course pay taxes same as everyone else. No doubt Abbas sees the amount of tax he can extract from the six million Israeli’s for not being Islamic, under his rule in an Islamic State? Has anyone considered this angle? How can Israel have peace with religious fanatics whose sole purpose is to murder Jews, Christians, Buddhists world wide. Does the International news media not pay attention to what is happening not only in Israel but in nations where Islam is the majority?

  • Paul Winter

    Instead of whining about abu Mazen’s antisemitic incitement, the Israeli government should put a price tag on hate speech. Praise a terrorist in Gaza, Judea or Samaria and get electricity or water turned off. Kill a Jew and another town on land the local Arabs want is developed. abu Mazen and other like him will be cheeky and aggressive as long as Jews muzzle themselves to appease the hypocritical international community, rather than slapping down people who respond to everything by violence and understand no approach other than violence.

  • RMM

    As much as Jews all over the world hope for our co-religionists in Israel to dwell in that tiny space on earth called Israel, our Arab neighbors quite obviously are not ready to live in peace. They want war; they want terriroty, they want personal property; all the things they could have – damn near for the asking, if only they woud sit down like human begins and begin showing a willingness to accept the fact that JEWS AND ISRAEL ARE HERE TO STAY. But they cannot (and obviously have not yet) accepted that simple fact, Arabs will be Arabs amd de,amd that Jews just walk away and hamd pover everything to them. And we already know what the Arabs will do with it: just look at the proliferation of Arab schools of higher learning, their public libraries, their fine cities, their symphony orchestras, artists of every sort, writers, etc, etc. YUP…it’s all right there in the middle the sand.

  • The real problem goes further back. According to Dutch authority Rudolph Peters, Islamic international law is derived from the law of jihad. Shari’a law declares that, once a territory has been conquered for Islamic, it becomes an Islamic waqf in perpetuity. In other words, even if infidels re-conquer it (peacefully, legally, or violently), Muslims must wait until an opportunity presents itself to resume a full-scale jihad. Spain and Portugal are among the territories that must be returned to Islam. As we know, Israel is unusually vulnerable to jihadist tendencies. Any peace agreement that fails to take this into account will be worth nothing. And I just can’t see how Muslims will change their attitudes so much that they will abandon something ordained in the Qur’an and the ahadith.

  • HaDaR

    Not confident?
    Where has Mr. Steinitz been in the last TWENTY YEARS?
    Since he is not deaf and blind, my guess is that either he is dumb, or just plain evil.

    • Efram Paul

      Speaking of just plain evil, what are you trying to say? I do not see you addressing any of his points one way or the other. What do you mean he is dumb, deaf, or blind? About what?

      • vivarto

        Funny how what you are asking about is to me so plain and obvious.

        “What do you mean he is dumb, deaf, or blind? About what?”
        Can only refer to one thing: That musloids will never accept existence of Israel. That ALL PEACE TALKS have only one purpose to quicken the destruction of Israel.

        That the only reason why they (the musloids)are engaging in the peace talks is because they are currently to weak to militarily destroy Israel.
        So instead they want to take as much as they can without having to fight for it

        That lies are holy and sacred for the musloids as long as they serve the cause of Allah. And that Allah wants to rule the whole world. And that Israel is a part of the Dar Al Islam, and that it was “unlawfully stolen” from them, and that it must be taken back.

        That all peace talks are pure lies, and that violence will resume from a much more advantageous position as soon as the borders are changed.

        AND THE MOST OBVIOUS IS THAT THERE IS NOT AND HAVE NEVER BEEN ANY ARAB PALESTINIAN NATION. That that nation was invented to destroy Israel only.

      • Sonia Willats