December 15, 2008

Lieberman: No to Land for Peace

by Maayana Miskin

( The Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party opened its election campaign Sunday night in the Golan. Chairman Avigdor Lieberman spoke at the event and presented his party's platform. Among Yisrael Beiteinu's central goals will be to get rid of the principle of “Land for Peace.”

"It's unacceptable! We will not agree to continue with Oslo, we will not agree to continue with Annapolis, we will not agree to 'land for peace!'” Lieberman told the crowd. “The formula we accept is 'peace for peace.'”

Israel had “peace for peace” with Jordan, Lieberman explained, but attempted “land for peace” in Lebanon and in Gaza. “We fled from Lebanon, from the last millimeter—and we got Hizbullah and Katyushas in return. We expelled the Jews from Gush Katif---and we got Hamas and Kassams in return. Let everyone make his own conclusions.”

Lieberman said the location and timing of the opening ceremony was no coincidence—exactly 27 years earlier, then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin brought the Golan Heights Law before the Knesset. The law passed, establishing Israeli sovereignty in the area.

After the upcoming national elections the Golan region will return to the headlines, Lieberman warned. Politicians will say Syrian President Bashar Assad wants peace. “Before long, our government will get nervous, get confused, buckle and eventually break down and sign a piece of paper worth no more than the paper Chamberlain signed in 1938,” he concluded.

Lieberman referred to his party's many Russian-born candidates, saying, “We may speak easy Hebrew with a heavy Russian accent, but we speak clearly.”

Besides opposing “land for peace,” Yisrael Beiteinu will work to enforce loyalty to the state by providing National Insurance payments only to those willing to do IDF or national service, Lieberman said. The party will also fight growing extremism among Israeli Arabs. Its first proposed laws will bring order in the fields of education and National Insurance, he told listeners.

Unlike most parties, Yisrael Beiteinu will not be holding primary elections. Instead, candidates will be selected by a committee. The party began its campaign under the slogan, “Choosing a Sure Thing.”

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