Published On: Wed, Feb 10th, 2016

Israel’s Labor Party Adopts Plan to Disengage from West Bank

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Israel’s center-left Labor Party unanimously voted to adopt leader Isaac Herzog’s proposal to unilaterally disengage from the West Bank, Ha’aretz reported on Monday. The plan takes into account Herzog’s assessment last month that a two-state solution is currently “unrealistic.”

In a speech presenting his plan at the party convention in Tel Aviv, Herzog affirmed Labor’s commitment to a two-state solution but argued that, in the interim, only a “separation” from the Palestinians will allow Israel to remain a Jewish and democratic state.

Herzog’s plan calls for Israel to pursue confidence building measures with the Palestinians and expand Area B of the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority exercises civilian control, while keeping control over major West Bank settlement blocs and completing the security barrier as a means of deterring terror.

The proposal further says that any solution that excludes the Gaza Strip, which is currently ruled by the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hamas, “will constitute a danger to realizing the two-state vision.” It also seeks to involve moderate Arab countries, such as Jordan and Egypt, in efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Herzog said that his plan was the first significant change to Labor’s diplomatic platform since the middle of the second intifada in 2002. The violent Palestinian uprising waslaunched by former PA leader Yasser Arafat after he rejected a peace offer from then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000.

Ha’aretz noted that by approving the proposal, Labor also adopted Herzog’s statement that “a full peace agreement unfortunately isn’t around the corner and at this stage; it’s not possible to realize the two-state vision. We must work by every means possible to preserve the two-state vision while separating from the Palestinians until it is realized.”

Herzog presented his plan on Monday to a conference hosted by the national-religious newspaper Besheva.

Like other members of Israel’s political establishment, Herzog affirmed his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran in July, warning that it would “release a lion from the cage.” He blasted the European Union in November for its “harmful and unnecessary” decision to label products from the West Bank, saying the move rewarded terror.

by TheTower.org

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