The Labor party presented its pre-election political outline on Dec. 23. While in previous elections the party had placed ‘striving for peace’ at the top of its priority list, this time the word ‘peace’ does not even appear in the platform that was laboriously assembled by MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.
In the past, Labor’s political platforms talked about continuing deceased Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s ‘path to peace’; Rabin viewed peace as Israel’s supreme national interest. But today the platform looks different, perhaps more realistic, more adapted to the current situation.
While party members emphasize that a military campaign cannot solve the conflict and that opportunities should be exploited for political arrangements, they also ascribe importance to other elements. “The Labor party views the requisite settlement with the Palestinians, and military conflicts, as part of a broad strategic-political system,” is written in the party’s outline. “That means that the Labor party does not view the military answer as the only solution for fortifying Israel’s existence and survivability. It is, however, an important component in the overall strategic picture.”
As printed in Dec. 23rd's Maariv, the party’s political platform assigns great importance to strengthening relations with neighboring states, including Egypt, Turkey, the Gulf Arab states and Jordan. “A diplomatic settlement is the only hindrance to Israel’s transformation into a b-inational state,” is written in the outline. “[In a bi-national state] Israel will lose its Jewish character and its ethical-democratic underpinnings, causing fundamental harm to its public image. If a political settlement will not be realized, the State of Israel may have a non-Jewish majority causing the termination of the Zionist dream. Israel would then be forcibly turned into an apartheid state, and lose its legitimacy in the eyes of the entire world as the State of the Jewish people.”
Additional clauses included in the political outline as submitted by Ben Eliezer to party Chairperson Shelly Yachimovich, include: strengthening relations with European countries and significantly consolidating Israel’s deterrence potential to prevent the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip.
The outline states that the de-legitimization process against Israel endangers the country. “This process is the product of diplomatic paralysis and stalemate, and a narrow strategic outlook that relies only on force.” In light of this, Labor commits to enter into negotiations without preconditions with the Palestinians and bring about the “two states for two nations” solution, on the basis of Clinton’s outline [Clinton parameters]. The party also commits itself to prevent Iranian nuclearization.
“Our world-view is explicit, transparent and on the table — two nations for two countries,” said Yachimovich during the demonstration of the outline yesterday. “The other option is a bi-national state that endangers the essence of the democratic Jewish state, an option that we must avoid at all costs.” Ben Eliezer emphasized, “Except for an announcement about the two-state solution, Netanyahu’s four years have been wasted as he only presents solutions that are based on force.”
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