Lapid: EU settlement guidelines 'embolden extremists'
In a New York Times op-ed titled 'Europe’s Stance on Settlements Is a Blunder,' finance minister says new guidelines 'will encourage nothing but delay resumption of peace negotiations.'
In a piece titled "Europe’s Stance on Settlements Is a Blunder," Lapid argues that "In one fell swoop, [the Europeans] have emboldened the extremists, allowing them to triumphantly claim to Mr. [Mahmoud] Abbas. 'You see, we were right all along. You must not negotiate. We don’t have to do anything. The international community will do our job for us.'"
Last May, Lapid said in an interview with the Times that he opposes a freeze on Israeli settlement construction as a gesture to jumpstart negotiations with the Palestinians. He also claimed that President Abbas is not a partner for peace.
A day after the interview was published, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni leveled criticism at the statements made by Lapid, saying they "do not coincide with his party's elections promises."