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Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

 “The Repercussions of the Israeli Elections on the Palestinian Problem”

Introduction and moderation by Dr. Geries S. Khoury

Tuesday 24 March 2015
At Al-Liqa’ Lecture Hall - Bethlehem

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Al-Liqa’ Center held a panel titled “Israeli Elections 2015 and its consequences on the Palestinian Problem”. Leading members of the community including academicians and others attended this gathering. Dr. Geries S. Khoury introduced the subject with a power point presentation of facts and figures concerning the result of this election including the political atmosphere preceding the elections as seen in Netanyahu’s hate message against the Arabs and the left which resulted in getting the Likud the largest block of 30 Knesset members. On the other hand the United Arab List was able to attract 65% of Arab votes and to gain 13 members to the Knesset. Netanyahu and his allies before the elections declared their unwillingness to negotiate or see a Palestinian state.

      

Dr. Khoury stressed in the present political situation in Israel, the Palestinian need to develop a strategy of national unity in order to face the new realities resulting from the Israeli elections. Following his introductory remarks and presentation and discussions by attendees, Dr. Khoury summarized the evening discussion with the following points:

  • Israel might involve itself in wars in its southern and northern borders in order for the world to forget all about the Palestinian problem.

  • The future of the Palestinian Problem depends on the credibility of the U.S. and its leadership and that of European countries, all of whom were upset about the anti-Arab statements of Netanyahu. In case pressure is exerted on Israeli government in order to proceed with negotiations to end occupation, then the extreme rightist elements will withdraw from the government. Netanyahu will be forced then to a national unity government with the Zionist Camp and other forces which will give Netanyahu more than 80 seats in the Knesset. This way negotiation can proceed with the aim to end occupation and to set up a Palestinian State on the June 1967 borders.

  • In the absence of American and European pressure on Israel, more colonial settlement and expropriation of the rest of the Palestinian land will take place. Palestinians will be angered and the expression of this anger is difficult to discern.

  • In light of Arab disunity and indifference toward the Palestinian problem, there will a loss of hope in Arab and Western countries. The only hope remaining is national unity and the development of strategy to deal with the problem in a practical and serious way.