Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned today that the expectations of Israel’s current negotiations with the Palestinian Authority are not realistic. At a ceremonial toast in honor of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah, he called on the government to learn from the Oslo peace talks, which ended with the murderous onslaught known as the Oslo War (or the Second Intifada), in which thousands of Israelis were killed or maimed in terrorist attacks.
Lieberman expressed concern over PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ ability to maintain his grasp on the PA in the face of increasing opposition. “Do we have a real partner? What if we sign with Abu Mazen [Abbas] and Hamas takes over?” he asked. “We learned nothing from the Disengagement from Gush Katif,” Lieberman continued. “If we return to the 1967 territories, the demands from the Palestinian side will only increase.”
Israel removed IDF troops and thousands of Jewish residents from Gaza in 2005, when the Fatah-led PA controlled the region. One year later Hamas swept the PA elections and in 2007 it seized complete control of Gaza and went on to launch a campaign of terror against southern Israel, firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells at Jewish towns in the western Negev.
While the PA expressed willingness to negotiate with Israel and possibly to recognize Israel, although not as a Jewish state, Hamas has rejected any hint of a compromise in favor of an open effort to destroy Israel by any means.
Israel should not expect the PA to recognize its right to exist as a Jewish state any time soon, Lieberman cautioned. “A peace agreement in which the Palestinians will recognize Israel – that’s a goal that can’t be achieved, not over the course of the next year, not over the course of the next generation,” he said. “Not through compromise, and not through painful concessions.”
Regarding the Judea and Samaria construction freeze, he said, “We are not prepared to accept even one more minute of the freeze, of more concessions.” Israel froze construction for ten months; the PA agreed to direct talks at the beginning of the tenth month and now has insisted that the construction freeze continue, threatening to call off negotiations if it is not.
Read more at Arutz Sheva.