Ehud Barak addressed his Labor Party yesterday and spoke about his views on where the Israeli-Palestinian peace process needs to go.
The Minister of Defense said: “A border must be drawn within the historic land of Israel based on security and demographic considerations, with a Jewish country with a Jewish solid majority for generations on one side, and a demilitarized Palestinian state with economic and political vitality on the other side….In this agreement, the major settlement blocs will remain within Israel’s borders. The issue of refugees must be settled in the Palestinian state. The issue of Jerusalem will be concluded in a final-status agreement. Upon signing this agreement, the end of the conflict will be declared as well as an end of the mutual demands.”
Minister Barak is to be commended for his clarity. Particularly as he is viewed as the “dovish” member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition, Barak’s statements, echoing elements of Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan University address, are important. There are too many people who seem to believe that these principles are only those of the Israeli “right wing” when they are in fact consensus points.
Of course, we would hasten to note that, from the OU’s point of view, a necessary element of assuring that the border of the “historic land of Israel” which assures its character as a “Jewish country” is that Jerusalem remains a secure and undivided city under Israel’s sovereignty.