Mar. 18, 2019
Daily Alert’s summary Mar. 22, 2019
During my first year as a member of Knesset, I was invited to meet with “moderate” Palestinian leaders. I learned a lot from these meetings and felt bad for the innocent Palestinians who suffer from inadequate basic services their leaders don’t seek to change and lack hope for a better life. But the most important lesson I learned came when I asked the man often referred to as “the most moderate” Palestinian leader to please tell me the bottom line. What would it take for the Palestinians to come to a final-status agreement with Israel?
He answered: “We would require that Israel withdraw to the 1967 lines – completely. No major settlement blocs for Israel, and of course, dividing Jerusalem. We would require a right of return for at least 100,000 Palestinians. And we would require all Palestinian prisoners to be freed from Israeli jails.” I asked if he meant to include the murderers of the Fogel family, the ones who entered the Itamar settlement on a Friday night, broke into the family’s home, and butchered parents and their children while they slept in their beds. “Of course,” he said.
I also pointed out that there have been a few Jews who have killed innocent Palestinians, and Israel has prosecuted and incarcerated them. It would never cross my mind to release them from Israeli jail in the construct of an agreement with the Palestinians. How could he suggest that these barbaric murderers of the Fogel family, and hundreds of other terrorists who killed innocent Israelis, be released from jail. “Because they are freedom fighters,” he replied, “and at the end of a conflict all prisoners of war must be returned.”
The U.S.-born writer served as a member of the Knesset (Yesh Atid) between 2013 and 2015. (Jerusalem Post)