National Union chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz led a walkout protest from the Knesset today after President Shimon Peres declared that a “majority” of Knesset Members support “the principle of two states for Israelis and Palestinians.”
National Union MKs Uri Ariel and Dr. Michael Ben-Ari joined him to protest the remarks of the President, who traditionally does not involve himself with political matters.
President Peres, who for years has championed the “land for peace” theory, has characterized his term of office with political activity. He said in his speech opening the Knesset’s winter session, “There are those who claim that continuing building in the settlements contradicts a two-state solution. In order to resolve this issue I believe it is crucial to agree on the peace map as soon as possible.”
The National Union was not alone in its criticism. Even government liaison Ze’ev Elkin, along with National Union MK Aryeh Eldad, charged that the president “crossed all the red lines in his political speech. He forgets that he was not elected to serve as Prime Minister and that his purpose as president is to unit the country, not to divide it.
“Peres is responsible for thousands of victims of the Oslo Accords and is the last person who should give political advice to the Knesset.”
They said that if he is interested in promoting his political agenda, he should resign and “stand the test of the voters, a task at which he never excelled.” Peres has been termed a “loser’ because he member won a majority to serve as Prime Minister. He served in the position once when he reached an agreement with former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin to take turns in leading the government.
MK Uri Orbach, a member of the Jewish Home nationalist party that is part of the government coalition, said that “the President of the country is not the chairman of Meretz [a left-wing party] and needs to overcome his untiring tendency to interfere in its affairs.”
The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) stated in response to President Peres; statements that “the majority of the public already had paid the price in blood” for his views.”
Read more at Arutz Sheva.