Herzog Separation Plan May Split Zionist Camp

YERUSHALAYIM -

MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Camp) upbraided her party boss Isaac Herzog on Sunday, accusing him of abandoning diplomacy for a plan to separate from the Palestinians.

Herzog presented an alternative to the two-state solution, which he and his party have backed until now, at a meeting on Friday at the Elysée Palace with French President François Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

“First we must separate between Israelis and Palestinians, this is what all efforts must be focusing on; a separation that will be accompanied by security and economic measures, in a way that will bring about calm on the ground.”

Herzog told the French leaders that “attempts to reach a Palestinian state now are unrealistic,” a position for which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been condemned as being right-wing obstructionist by Washington and the Israeli center-left.

Yacimovich told Israel Radio on Sunday that “the Labor party must present a diplomatic alternative of discussion and not give up on it in the face of the common argument on the Right that there is no one to talk to.”

She also expressed irritation that she only found out about Herzog’s initiative through the media. A proposal such as this, which she says defies the majority of party members, should have been submitted for discussion beforehand.

“Abbas is indeed not a lover of Zion, but it may be that he represents the last opportunity to speak to a secular and pragmatic Palestinian leader and this opportunity must not be missed, which would be playing into the hands of Netanyahu,” Yacimovich said.

Although nothing substantial came out of the meeting in Paris, a source close to Herzog

said it lasted more than an hour and was warm and friendly.