World Jewish News
Israel's Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay: Not possible to evacuate 100,000 Settlers
Israel's Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay said Sunday that he would not have approved the construction of isolated settlements such as Yitzhar, but he added that it would be unrealistic to remove 100,000 people from their homes in Judea and Samaria.
Saturday evening, Gabbay told a Shabbat Tarbut cultural event that he would not approve building outside settlement blocs, and added that he would never enter a coalition with Netanyahu. But Sunday, he also repeated his previously-mentioned claim that were Israel to achieve peace with the Palestinians, there would be no need to demolish settlements.
“If we are in a time of peace, we should be able to find creative solutions,” Gabbay said Sunday morning at Israel Broadcast Corporation (Kan)
On the background of statements by Health Minister Yakov Litzman over the weekend that his United Torah Judaism faction would consider joining a coalition led by the Zionist Camp, Gabbay added that all members of the haredi party support this idea. “I am working on a broad coalition,” Gabbay said.
Gabbay also seconded statements by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that either Netanyahu or Gabbay would head up the next government, and predicted that Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid “will not be there.”
The Labor Party chairman also backed Israel’s decision to down a UAV on Saturday as it approached the border between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights, and added that he “deals a lot” with security issues
“I think our response was clear and correct.” Gabbay said. “I am much more concerned with what is going on between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. In my opinion, there is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to link their private problems with their problem in Yemen. I call on the government not to enter here a domino pattern that will entangle us in Lebanon.”
Gabbay concluded the interview speaking about Israeli Arab involvement in politics. “We need to ensure their presence in politics, but their politicians should be interested in people’s lives, and not hostile to Israel,” he said. “They should deal with housing and public transportation, and not with Abu Mazen and the fate of the Palestinians all day.”