TEL AVIV – The Israeli left is seeking to hijack the “Brexit” victory in the United Kingdom by pushing for an Israeli exit from the strategic West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem in order to create a Palestinian state.
Seemingly ignoring the fact that successive Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have expressed willingness to offer the Palestinians a state while the Palestinian leadership has rejected these offers and even negotiations on the subject, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Sunday implied the Israeli public should hold a referendum on a Palestinian state. The same Israeli public that has backed negotiations with the Palestinians since the 1990s.
Speaking from London, Herzog discussed the spirit of “Brexit” in an interview with Army Radio when he stated that Israelis “need to be asked whether they want an Israeli-Palestinian state or [just] an Israeli state.”
“There is an issue that has been accompanying our lives for generations and it is the Palestinian issue,” Herzog told the radio station. “I do not think that the elections necessarily reflect our attitudes in relation to this issue. We need to ask the citizens of this country whether they want an Israeli-Palestinian state or an Israeli state.”
“The public majority wants an agreement with the Palestinians, knows there are dangers, and knows that there are essential security needs,” Herzog continued, “but let’s take action. The people should determine and know what they are leaving for future generations.”
In a similar vein, Amir Oren, senior correspondent and columnist for the left-leaning Haaretz and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, wrote an oped on Sunday titled, “Time for ‘Israexit’ From the Occupied Territories.”
The Palestinian Authority and much of the international community says Israel is occupying the so-called pre-1967 borders, meaning the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. Israel refers to the pre-1967 territories as disputed.
However, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Hamas, and other major Palestinian factions routinely refer to the entire state of Israel as “occupied” territory.
In his article, Oren doesn’t mention the abject failure of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which has since been taken over by the Hamas terrorist group and used to stage rocket attacks against the Jewish state while Hamas digs attack tunnels snaking into Israel.
Instead, Oren writes:
Where is Israel’s “Brexit”? Israel boasts of being a startup nation, but is taking its time getting out of the occupied territories – the boiling core of the conflict with the Arabs. How much more blood, poison, and money will be spilled until the Israexit takes place?
Oren further claims that Israel’s presence in the so-called occupied territories is endangering the Jewish state’s diplomatic support in the West. He fails to recall that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sold Israel’s Gaza evacuation to the Israeli public by claiming that the international community would strongly support future Israeli defensive measures should the Gaza Strip be used to attack Israel.
Instead, Israel is routinely condemned for its anti-terrorism operations in the Gaza Strip, and the international community led ceasefire efforts to stop Israel’s defensive wars in Gaza.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, the only binding resolution pertaining to the West Bank, calls on Israel to withdraw under a future final-status solution “from territories occupied” as a result of the 1967 Six Day War. The resolution does not call for a withdrawal from “all territories,” a designation deliberately left out to ensure Israel’s allowance under a future deal to retain some territory for security purposes.
The Jewish Virtual Library explains:
The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from “all the” territories occupied after the Six-Day war. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant “that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands.” The Arab states pushed for the word “all” to be included, but this was rejected. They nevertheless asserted that they would read the resolution as if it included the word “all.” The British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: “It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.