Katz: Peres Comments Show ‘Disrespect’ for Jews


yaakov-katzMK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz, chairman of the National Union party, sharply criticized President Shimon Peres on Wednesday over comments he made during an Independence Day interview with the Ma’ariv newspaper.

During the interview Peres, the architect of the Oslo Accords, appeared to threaten a forcible expulsion of Jews who live in parts of Judea and Samaria.

“Israel is committed to taking down settlements, but I know that this is not a simple thing, so there are two possibilities,” Peres said. “One, that the settlers return home of their own free will and receive compensation, and the second, that we remain with the three centers, settlement blocs, with land exchanges. We just need to determine where the three blocs will be, in quiet negotiations.”

The wording of his comments is somewhat ambiguous, but Peres appears to say that Jewish residents who live outside the blocs can go willingly, be forced out, or left to fend for themselves under a hostile Arab regime.

Peres also said in the interview that “the Palestinians say that they want the 1967 territory. Not borders, territory. And we want agreed-upon exchanges of territory that would allow the blocs to remain and give solutions for Israel’s security needs. The argument is between 1.5 percent and seven or eight percent. That is the core of the negotiation. That is the entire gap. That is why I believe it is bridgeable.”

Katz responded to Peres’ comments during a speech in the Knesset. Addressing Peres directly, he said: “Last year 2,336 Jews, men women and children, lived in the North Shomron ‘bloc’. In the Samaria ‘bloc’, President Peres, lived 28,294 men, women and children who would be intended for expulsion. In the Binyamin ‘bloc’, President Peres, we have 67,617 people and thousands of synagogues and institutions. In the Har Hevron ‘bloc’ there are 14,608 Jews. All these people should be expelled according to your plan. Why this disrespect for the Jews? If it was the Arabs we were talking about, everyone would say he is racist.”

In Israel, the role of President is a purely ceremonial one and not a political. Despite this fact, Peres has been Israel’s most political president to date, and has been accused of seeing himself as a de-facto foreign minister once again, as he was during the late Yitzchak Rabin’s term of office when he engineered the disastrous Oslo Accords.

Read more at Arutz Sheva.

{Arutz Sheva/Matzav.com Newscenter}