Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud hard-liner Zeev Elkin.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
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Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said Thursday that “the 1967 borders are Auschwitz borders” and therefore Likud has to reject any proposal to withdraw from the West Bank.

Elkin, of the Likud party himself, spoke during a morning tour of settlements in the Jordan Valley attended by parliamentarians and ministers that are members the Land of Israel lobby.

The tour, in which Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) participated, took place a few hours before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Israel. Kerry is expected to meet Thursday evening with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the “framework agreement” for peace that the United States is interested in presenting to Israel and the Palestinians by the end of January.

“The Jordan Valley must be under Israeli sovereignty forever,” said Elkin at a dedication ceremony for a new neighborhood in the settlement of Gitit in the Jordan Valley. “Now of all times, in a government headed by Likud, in a settlement built by Likud, we can say loud and clear: You will remain here forever and there will be Israeli sovereignty here.”

Elkin added: “To all those who are now making proposals for Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, there is only one reply, which was already given in 1969 by then- foreign minister Abba Eban: The 1967 borders are Auschwitz borders! The only reply that Likud government should give to such proposals is: No! It’s right to talk to our neighbors, but it’s illogical for them to ask us to give up the security of Israel’s inhabitants and Israel’s vital interests. Anyone who gives up the Jordan Valley will turn Kfar Sava into Sderot.”