Israel's Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that his Habayit Hayehudi party "will not sit in a coalition that, because of international pressure, divides Jerusalem and puts our security at risk."
Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Bennett added: "We will never agree to give up a unified Jerusalem… we will never accept an agreement based on the 1967 lines."
"Since the peace talks started there has been a slowly-growing intifada," Bennett said. "Peace talks with the Palestinians have only brought us terror."
"If our friends in the world ask us to commit suicide - even if they have good intentions - we will tell them 'no,'" Bennett said, about the international pressure to reach an agreement with the Palestinians. "They tell us there is an occupation and that it's immoral as Jews. Let me tell you this - we are not occupiers in our land," he said.
Regarding recent statements by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, according to which the leaders of both sides will have to make "hard decisions," Bennett said that "the easy decision was the disengagement [from Gaza] – to the world's applause – but the difficult decision was to stand firm; the easy decision was the Oslo Accords, but the hard decision was annexing Jerusalem and the Golan."
Referring to the so-called demographic threat, Bennett said that "They scare us with the demographic demon and that there won't be a Jewish majority. That's incorrect; in fact, the opposite is true. Arab birthrates are falling. The day after a diplomatic agreement, the Palestinians will open their borders to hundreds of thousands refuges and their descendants. Imagine driving on Highway 6 and seeing them lining the fences."
As for the government's demand that Palestinian incitement must end, Bennett said: "The Palestinian children of Oslo are now 21 and they have grown up in the midst of deliberate, intensive and poisonous incitement against us. The result is generations of terrorists. When children are educated on explosive belts and anti-Semitic Sesame Street, the Jew is turned into a devil. No agreement will change that. Only the Palestinians are able to change it – ending Palestinian incitement is what will pave the road to peace."
"Once we were told that we need to give land for peace," Bennett concluded. "But today's Israelis know that what's needed is a strong army and faith."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now