Yair Lapid, who may become Israel's next foreign minister, states in his party's platform that no new settlements will be built during negotiations with the Palestinians, but that settlement growth will be allowed within the needs of the population, which bring Noam Sheizaf to argue that Lapid ain't the left's hope following his stunning victory last Tuesday.
Article 6 in Yesh Atid's platform, Sheizaf notes, states that there will be no territorial compromise in Jerusalem and that the entire city will remain under Israeli control. This is a major step back from what Israeli negotiators offered in Camp David (2000), Taba (2001) and Annapolis (2007). In article 9 Lapid rejects any mention of return for Palestinian refuges.
Lapid also told Al Jazeera in a video thay broadcasted on Eelection night that jerusaelm must remain under Israel's control, just like DC is America's capital. "If we have to fight for for it, we will fight for it," Lapid said.
Lapid’s diplomatic platform (Translated by +972 Magazine), looks more of less like Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech, and his guided principles for a peace settlement under the category of a Two State Solution:
1. Israel and the Palestinian Authority will return to the negotiating table out of good will and the desire to reach a final agreement.
2. During the negotiations no new settlements will be built, but until a final agreement has been reached, the natural growth in the settlements will be taken into consideration.
3. The goal of the negotiations is to reach two nation-states with recognized international borders that have no demands from each other.
4. These borders will take into account Israel’s security considerations and the reality that has been created since 1967. Both sides will recognize that it is in their mutual interest to leave the settlement blocs in Israel’s hands. If necessary, there will be negotiations over land swaps.
5. The refugees will be settled within the future Palestinian state.
6. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and its unification is a national symbol of the first measure. Jerusalem will remain united under Israeli sovereignty because Jerusalem is not just a place or a city, but the center of the Jewish-Israeli ethos and the holy place for which Jews longed throughout all generations.
7. The complete halt of incitement against Israel in the Palestinian education system will be part of any future agreement.
8. Israel will not conduct negotiations with Hamas as long as it won’t change its charter and recognize Israel and the right of the Jewish people to exist on its land.
9. The war on terror will continue at all time, without any regards to the negotiations. Israel reserves the right to act for its security in the areas of the future Palestinian state to the extent it deems fit.
10. The world’s nations will provide guarantees for the fulfillment of the future agreement with clear sanctions in the case of violations.
In one of his last interviews before the elections (given to TimeOut Tel Aviv, on January 17th), Lapid said the following on the Palestinian issue:
“I don’t believe a word they [the Palestinians] say.”
Q: Do you think Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is a fraud?
“Yes I think he is a fraud, and I think this is the way we should negotiate with him… out of this mistrust I am saying: ‘let’s go to negotiations on two states for two people, but in a state of total mistrust.’ My goal is not to marry them but to divorce them.”
UPDATE: Barak Ravid finds an excerpt from an Interview Yair Lapid had with 'Der Spiegel' in 2008 in which he said the following about Jerusalem: "The greatest tragedy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that everyone knows how it will end. We will divide up the region. Israel will return most of the West Bank, and the Palestinian flag will fly on public buildings in East Jerusalem. The only unanswered question is how many more people will have to die along the way."