Aug. 12, 2007 0:13 | Updated Aug. 12, 2007 2:51
By AARON MAGID
New Jersey-native Yechiel Aaron has decided to start a new political party to advocate for the annexation of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Lashuv (Return) represented a "return to our ways of strength," he told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend. "It is the return to where we care more about God, our country and our people."
Aaron, who immigrated to Israel with his family two years ago and lives in Hashmonaim, near Modi'in, would not provide the names of those running on his party list, only saying that he had many supporters around the country and in the United States. Lashuv would be fairly right wing on the Palestinians and the diplomatic process, but offered some interesting twists on economic policy, he said.
Asked how he would deal with the millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, he said that if they observed Israeli law they would be provided with citizenship after a 25-year waiting period.
Aaron has little trust in Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. "Abbas is not interested in peace" Aaron said. "He would be happy if the Palestinians killed us all."
Unless all the IDF soldiers in captivity were immediately released, swift punishment should be implemented, he said. In the case of Cpl. Gilad Schalit, being held in the Gaza Strip, Aaron calls to shut the flow of all electricity and water in Gaza, irrespective of the consequences for the civilian population, followed by a military strike to bring Schalit home.
Aaron's economic policy is a bit more centrist. A major part of his platform is a significant cut in income and value added tax to stimulate the economy to allow "people to automatically have more money to put back into our economic system," he said. "People will be able to spend more, expand more and hire more. This is a key economic full circle that has never been understood here."
He also backs providing food and shelter for all Israelis. However, Aaron was not clear on how he would pay for these programs while at the same time lowering taxes, other than cutting certain unnamed programs and lowering Knesset members' salaries.
When Aaron began registering his party, he ran into a number of obstacles. After accumulating the necessary signatures, filling out the paper work, and paying the NIS 1,800 fee, Interior Ministry officials said he needed to pay an additional NIS 72,000, a requirement that was not in the registration book provided by the Knesset, he said. Aaron is still trying to collect this money from his supporters.