Members of the Knesset on Wednesday argued the possibility of a two-state solution at a special plenum debate, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian “terror” came from a “culture of death,” according to a Knesset press release.
During the debate, the Israeli PM and Israel’s Labor party opposition leader Isaac Herzog exchanged criticisms over the “most realistic” way to obtain a two-state solution.
Herzog, who is a strong supporter of the two-state solution, recently announced that he did not think two states were possible under today’s political climate, and introduced a plan late last month that would see many Palestinian areas in occupied East Jerusalem cut off from the rest of the city.
“We have a different vision, and as hard as you try, you will not be able to kill it. The two-state vision isn`t dead,” Herzog said. “But it won`t happen tomorrow, certainly not as long as you, Mr. Netanyahu and [Palestinian President] Abu Mazen are afraid to make a move.”
“Therefore, I am determining that what we can achieve today is security for the citizens of Israel and separation between us and the Palestinians, with actions rather than talk.”
Netanyahu said Herzog and the Labor party could not be “trusted” with solutions due to being “years late in understanding” facts on the ground.
“Terror is not a result of occupation,” Netanyahu said. “The terror stems from a culture of death. Its goal is not to free a state, it is to destroy a state.”
In response, Herzog argued that the two-state solution “is the only vision that will preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The alternative is a Jewish-Arab state that will destroy Israel as a Jewish state.”
Well over 500,000 Israelis are currently living across the occupied Palestinian territory, interconnected by Israeli-only infrastructure that both steals from Palestinian resources and cuts off Palestinian communities from one another.
The Israeli PM’s allegations that “terror” stems from a “culture of death” rather than occupation comes despite remarks from UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon last month that it was “human nature” for Palestinians to react violently to Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation.