Skip to comments.Riskin: Efrat to outlast Yossi Beilin (more on "Swiss Agreement")
Posted on 10/13/2003 8:19:36 AM PDT by anotherview
Oct. 13, 2003
Riskin: Efrat to outlast Yossi Beilin
By GIL HOFFMAN
Residents of Efrat are not losing any sleep worrying about the Geneva Initiative, Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said on Monday.
The plan, hammered out by a group of Palestinians and Israeli leftists over the weekend, would leave the 8,000 resident Gush Etzion community outside the borders of the State of Israel as part of a final-status agreement. But Riskin said he does not expect the initiative of former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and former Palestinian Culture Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo to gain enough legitimacy to threaten Efrat.
"Way after the world forgets the names Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, Efrat will be a proud city, bordering on Jerusalem," Riskin said. "Efrat is the capital of Gush Etzion. Dividing it from Gush Etzion is absurd. It is absolute madness that people who have absolutely no constituency can make a deal giving up the Temple Mount. This is not a plan of sane people."
Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount and the so-called Palestinian "right of return" within newly drawn borders of Israel would both be relinquished in the initiative, which would also leave the 18,000 resident city of Ariel outside the state.
Riskin said his main concern is the message that the plan sends the suicide bombers, especially considering the fact that the plan includes more far-reaching Israeli concessions than former prime minister Ehud Barak was willing to make before the start of the current wave of Palestinian terror.
"Aggression cannot be rewarded and any plan that gives up so much of Judea and Samaria is rewarding aggression," Riskin said. "Oslo almost cost us the Jewish state. It is responsible for more than 1000 lives. This new plan is ill-conceived and tragic."
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