By MATI TUCHFELD, ISRAEL HAYOM—
“There will be no concessions and no withdrawals. It is simply irrelevant,” the Likud party said in a statement on Sunday regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outlook on the peace process with the Palestinians.
The Likud statement came after Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely told a brochure distributed at religious Zionist synagogues that Netanyahu’s 2009 Bar-Ilan address, in which he expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, was “null and void.”
“Netanyahu’s entire political biography is a struggle against the establishment of an Arab state in Israeli territory,” Hotovely said.
The Likud party clarified that Hotovely was expressing her personal opinion.
According to the Likud statement released on Sunday, Netanyahu believes that, given the current situation in the Middle East, “any evacuated territory would fall into the hands of Islamic extremism and terrorist organizations supported by Iran.”
Over the weekend, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett slammed Netanyahu over the “concessions document” published in a Yedioth Ahronoth report on Friday. Bennett asserted that Netanyahu would continue to offer concessions to the Palestinians in a bid to advance the peace process, despite the fact that the Yedioth report was refuted by former American diplomat Dennis Ross.
Interior Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) called on Bennett to halt his attacks against Likud. “It is unfortunate Bennett jumped on the bandwagon of a false Yedioth Ahronoth report in an attempt to win votes. As someone who led the struggle against the disengagement , I don’t remember seeing Bennett there.”
Hotovely said, “Bennett must understand that any support he gives to the false Yedioth report makes him a partner in the effort to topple the Right via spin and lies. In his six years in office, Netanyahu has never agreed to any concessions, and the facts on the ground speak much louder than any documents disseminated by the Americans.”
MK Yoni Chetboun, No. 2 on the Yahad Haam Itanu list and a former member of Habayit Hayehudi, said Bennett was “again bringing down the nationalist camp.”
“Bennett is shooting in all directions, but mainly at the rightist parties — Likud and Yahad Haam Itanu,” Chetboun said. “Naftali, calm down. … Your wild behavior is bringing a calamity to the nationalist camp.”