Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s new policy to combat terrorism was the target criticism on Thursday, not only from the political left, but from the right, as well, normally a source of support for his tough security posture.
However, Liberman’s proposal for rewarding Palestinian good behavior and punishing bad behavior—or “carrots and sticks” as it’s been called—did not appeal to the Land of Israel Caucus, led by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), who claimed it would benefit Palestinians while harming Israelis.
The two MKs said in a letter to Liberman that benefits for the Palestinians will create “intolerable gaps for the Jewish population, which is the main victim of Palestinian terror.”
“The idea of carrots and sticks is right and good,” Kisch said, “but it cannot be that the carrots harm rule of law and its authority.” He noted that the Amona outpost is scheduled to be razed later this year, but that Liberman’s plan would legalize unlawful Palestinian construction in Area C, which is controlled by Israel.
“Every authorization of Arab construction while, on the other side, there is a freeze in Jewish building, is a mistake and adds insult to injury,” he added.
However, Gush Etzion Regional Council chairman Davidi Perl was more welcoming, and said he was willing to help implement the plan.
“In this way, they will think twice whether to commit an act of terror or to look for a job and live a quiet and peaceful life,” he said, but adding that construction permits should be given to the Jewish population in Yehudah and Shomron.
On the left, former defense minister MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Camp) said that promoting dialogue through the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories should not be used to circumvent direct talks with Palestinian leaders.
“A real solution with an agreement to end the conflict and other demands can only be achieved with formal, national leadership,” he stated. “Divide and conquer tactics failed in the past.”
MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp) said Liberman is stuck in the 70s and 80s.
“The defense minister and government cannot avoid the only solution acceptable to the international community, two states for two nations,” Shai argued. “The defense minister’s plan is leading us to one state for two nations and the loss of the Zionist dream.”