Wednesday, February 21, 1996

An Interview with Shimon Heres - Candidate for Prime Minister

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
An Interview with Shimon Heres - Candidate for Prime Minister

Q. Mr. Heres, what, in your opinion, is the main issue of the election?
A. The main issue? That is very clear. There is no main issue. There is
nothing to debate. It is agreed by all segments of the population that
everything my government has accomplished has been successful. There is no
question - and no issue.
Q. Mr. Heres, please excuse me, but what about the issue of the of
the peace plan? This seems to be a very controversial issue.
A. What are you talking about? This is not an issue. The peace plan has
succeeded more than anyone could possibly have imagined. Arafat has given up
terror for diplomacy, guns for a legislature. What more can you ask for?
Q. But Mr. Heres, Arafat continues to call for Jihad, and according to reports
from Sweden, Arafat expects to witness the destruction of the Jewish State within five
years, as a result of the peace plan?
A. First of all, that report was broadcast by a radio station which knows only
how to incite. I won't even mention its name. It is a pirate station with
pirate news. Anything they say is a lie. Aside from that, we all know that
Arafat can be trusted. He has already explained that Jihad is a spiritual
term, and it has no military connotations.
Q. What about the destruction of Israel?
A. Well, I think that this is also a figurative term. We are facing a clear
change in Israel. Life here will be different. Israel will stop being a Jewish State. Rather, it
will be a State where Jews can live freely, but our character will be similar
to that of a modern Scandinavian country. I think that this is perhaps
Arafat's meaning. If so, I agree with him, and so,does, I am sure, an
overwhelming majority of Israelis. This is not an issue.
Q. Mr. Heres, let's move on. How can you escape the issue of the Golan
Heights? This is definitely a point of contention.
A. Excuse me but you don't know what you're talking about. The Golan is not
an issue. I have promised a referendum on the Golan following signing of the
treaty with the Syrians. There is nothing to be discussed. We cannot argue
about an egg that hasn't yet been hatched.
Q. But Mr. Heres, it is possible to debate your intention?
A. We will not discuss the Golan. That is tantamount to showing the Syrians
all our cards while in the midst of negotiations. Anyone discussing the Golan,
or questioning the government's stand is aiding and abetting the enemy. This
is unlawful.
Q. O.K. Mr. Heres, but there is one other major question on the agenda. That
is Jerusalem.
A. Jerusalem - the question is, in and of itself, incitement. What are you
talking about. Jerusalem will never be divided. Jerusalem with remain a
united city. That has always been our policy and it will continue to be so.
Anyone broaching the issue of Jerusalem is committing a major crime.
We will not allow this. There is nothing to talk about.
Q. But Mr. Heres, before the last election Labor promised never to even
discuss the Golan, and promised not to talk to Arafat, and promised that there
would never be a Palestinian State. You haven't kept any of these promises.
Why should anyone believe your statements concerning Jerusalem?
A. Your questions are out of line. This line of questioning is ridiculous. It
is not true. We have never broken any promises. I demand an immediate
apology. I reiterate, there are no issues to discuss. The truth is that I
don't understand why we need the elections. Everything is clear, and everyone
agrees with us. Perhaps we'll cancel them.

Mr. Heres, thank you very much.

(Backstag,e to an aid - 'What did you think - not bad? And the Jerusalem
question-what Chutzpah. What? - Of course Jerusalem will remain united - but I
neglected to say under whose authority - Heh Heh Heh - they won't be able to
catch me on that one...'

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