Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Palestinians should be granted Israeli citizenship should Israel annex the West Bank.
Speaking at the pro-settlement B’Sheva Jerusalem Conference on Monday, Rivlin said that “Zion is entirely ours,” including the territory where Palestinians hope to build a state, according to the Times of Israel.
Rivlin warned against a piecemeal annexation of settlements, like an upcoming bill that would annex the large Jerusalem-area settlement Maale Adumim. Instead, he gave cautious support to full annexation, so long as it included full citizenship rights to Palestinians.
“Applying sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there,” he said. “There is no [separate] law for Israelis and for non-Israelis.”
Rivlin has been sharply critical of Israel’s newly-passed law that retroactively legalizes settlements built on private Palestinian land, saying it will make Israel look like an “apartheid state.”
Rivlin believes in one state under Israeli sovereignty, dismissing concerns from critics that Israel’s Jewish character will be compromised by absorbing several million Palestinians. In the past, he has floated the idea of an Israeli-Palestinian confederation as an interim step to one state.
Contact Naomi Zeveloff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Backs One-State Solution — With Equal Rights for Palestinians