Interview with MK David Tsur (Ha'Tnuah)

Interview with MK David Tsur (Ha'Tnuah)

 Interview by Niel Sandler & David Zeev, Kol Israel Radio

 09.07.2013
Kol Israel English [edited by Geneva Initative Staff]
 
The following interview was conducted by Niel Sandler and David Zeev with Member of Knesset David Tsur (Ha'Tnuah) following his participation in the Geneva Initiative's Knesset Conference on July 8, 2013. 
 
Neil Sandler: Yesterday's event in the Knesset was organized by the opposition Labor Knesset member Moshe Mizrachi and government coalition Hatnua Knesset member David Tsur. We asked MK Tsur if he accepts the guidelines of the territorial concessions and other aspects of the Geneva initiative.
 
David Tsur, Hatnua MK:  ... if you ask me if I adopt all the resolutions which the Geneva group is bringing to the table, no. But again, on the major and the general idea of course, yes.
 
David Zeev: I'm amazed every time, and I'm sorry if we've mentioned this time after time, that within the government coalition, though, you can have views that are so far apart like yours, saying you're willing at least to listen to the people of the Geneva Initiative, that you support a two states solution; and others in your same government coalition, like we had the other day, Knesset member Ayelet Shaked of Habayit Hayehudi, who says "let's go on in this government coalition because nothing is going to happen with the Palestinians anyway"; and even just a little while ago, about an hour or so, Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis of Likkud, responding for the government to no confidence motions, says there's no room for a second in the western part of the land of Israel, as he puts it; how can you continue to live together in this government coalition?
 
David Tsur: Well, that's democracy in Israel. I can... we can be happy with that or not, but the fact that in the
coalition you can find Hatnua or Yesh Atid... So I think we are doing quite a lot in order to move the process forward. I know that there's gonna be a lot of obstacles on the road, but I think it has been frozen for years, so there's also a lot of mistrust between the Israelis and the Palestinians. 
 
David Zeev: Knesset member Tsur, do you support the Prime Minister's position, though, that it is the Palestinian leadership that is to blame for delaying negotiations right now?
 
David Tsur: Well, I'm not blaming, but what I wanted to say a minute ago, is--and I said it also at the meeting--that I think that the fact that there is negotiating for the negotiation, as the President of the United States said in his speech to the Palestinians in Ramallah; he said to Abu Mazen: "You can't negotiate for negotiation." Once they come to the table we can solve the problem. And I'm thinking that opposite as it was being exposed there in this meeting today, that if the Palestinians will choose, to go to the UN in September, it will destroy the process. And it will... the feedback will be so bad, because nobody in Israel, I think, will support any kind of a resolution that will come from the UN. So we need to solve our problem together and not go to the UN to solve it. We need the support of the international community, but after we reach an agreement together.
 
David Zeev: Okay. One final question. The leader of your party was also present, if I'm not mistaken, at that meeting of the Geneva Initiative; she, of course, is Minister Tzipi Livni; and she is in charge of trying to lead negotiations with the Palestinians. As far as you know--the former minister of the Palestinian Authority who at this meeting said that there has been secret contacts between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Palestinian leadership--is that sort of
thing happening? Is minister Livni herself involved in any sorts of a negotiations?
 
David Tsur: Yeah. I think... Mr. Ajrami exposed that and a few hours later Tzipi Livni denied it. She said that it didn't happen, so maybe the those meetings were before this government was established... but we hope that this kind of meetings will happen very soon.