Amid the first round of diplomatic visits carried out by Israel's new foreign minister who is the alternate prime minister, statements by both leaders of the Israeli cabinet over their country's occupation of Palestinian territory have stirred online conversations.
Israel's new FM, Yair Lapid, told Blinken in Rome today that Israel seeks to "minimize the conflict" with the Palestinians. Bennett on his first day as PM spoke of "reducing friction." There is clearly a govt line taking shape that seeks to enlighten the occupation. pic.twitter.com/DzVxbAfR0D— Mairav Zonszein מרב זונשיין (@MairavZ) June 27, 2021
Even though the new Israeli FM Yair Lapid has been called a "leftist" by the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his views on the 54-years old military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem seem to align with the more right-wing prime minister Naftali Bennet.
During a meeting with the US secretary of state Antony Blinken in Rome, Lapid has been quoted saying that his country "is seeking to minimize the conflict with the Palestinians."
The softer side of apartheid https://t.co/ViUI6DRAiV— Ariel Gold אריאל 🕎 ☮️🔥✡️ (@ArielElyseGold) June 27, 2021
The statement that was reported by the Israeli press, namely the Times of Israel and Haaretz has triggered many questions by online people, mostly questioning whether the new Israeli FM who is often regarded as the most liberal figure in the new government does not recognize the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and whether or not the government efforts will seriously address "resolving the problem," instead of just "minimizing it" and maintaining the status quo.
What is that like "occupation light"? Or "apartheid with 20% less fat"?— Mediterranean Immigrant (@wmadxyn) June 27, 2021
Lapid vows to fix Netanyahu's 'mistakes,' regain bipartisan support in meeting with Blinken: FM Lapid says he seeks to 'minimize conflict' with Palestinians and reiterates opposition to the Iran deal. U.S. Secretary of State says normalization… https://t.co/AMhKYYCrhx Haaretz pic.twitter.com/tz1N09sJkQ— Jewish Community (@JComm_NewsFeeds) June 27, 2021
Some social media users also wondered whether this statement promises a lighter version of the Israeli occupation, as long as the government does not recognize its illegality.
Today, Yair Lapid is scheduled to pay a "historic" visit to the UAE, a first for an Israeli foreign minister to the Arab state that signed the Abraham Accords with Israel in September 2020.
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