Minister Wary of Washington’s Next Peace Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israel peace
Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool)

Obama-era tensions may return in the Trump era, if Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis’s comments on Thursday are any indication.

On the eve of a trip to the U.S., Akunis warned that if the peace plan in the works in Washington includes a Palestinian state — as it well might — there will be stubborn resistance from a number of Israeli cabinet members, including himself.

“With all of my appreciation for the Trump administration, which I don’t hide,” Akunis was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying, “I can’t live with a document that talks about two states, and I will vote against it. I have a clear ideological stance… Many ministers agree.”

Akunis mentioned that he’s “happy the Trump administration hasn’t said [they want two states] since [former U.S. president Barack] Obama finished his job,” and he obviously would like it to stay that way.

His visit to the U.S. is mostly related to his ministerial work. On the itinerary are meetings with major tech companies in the San Francisco area, including Amazon and Facebook, as well as NASA.

Akunis plans to discuss with them ways to cut red tape and facilitate operations in Israel.

“We want to support tech companies, and they want to come to Israel. I, as a minister, have problems with the bureaucracy here, so I understand that it’s even worse for them,” he said.

Another issue to be raised is that of incitement against Israel on social-media.

“Steps are being taken to limit incitement, but it’s not enough, in my opinion,” Akunis said.