(Banner will apear here)

Beautiful Kabbalah Jewelry Judaicawebstore.com
Font Size:

Netanyahu Goes For Two-State Solution

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: 'I Accept Demilitarized Palestinian State Alongside National Homeland Of Jewish People'

President Obama Welcomes Netanyahu's New Position - Palestinians Reject It

IsraCast: Netanyahu Avoids Collision With Obama At Time That Iranian Election Scandal Illuminates Nuclear Nightmare

Binyamin Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apparently defused a diplomatic time bomb with U.S. President Barack Obama while the Iranian election reveals how dangerous nuclear weapons would be in the hands of the tyrannical regime of President Ahmadinejad and his ayatollah masters. But Israel's Right-wing Likud prime minister has had to pay the price of accepting a Palestinian state with all that it implies. It appears, as did former Likud leader Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu decided it was in Israel's best interest to ride out the storm of American pressure and in so doing revealed who truly calls the shots in the U.S.-Israeli 'special relationship'.

Once Ariel Sharon, another 'hard-line' Likud prime minister declared: 'The time has come to end the occupation and Benjamin Netanyahu took to the ramparts in opposition'. Now another Likud hardliner, Netanyahu himself, has declared: 'Israel is ready for a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the national state of the Jewish people'. After Sharon made his startling statement, he proceeded to promptly evacuate all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and another four on the West Bank, for good measure. Sharon, although opposed to the Roadmap peace plan, also had to give way pressure from U.S. President George Bush's insistence that he accept it. But instead of exploiting Sharon's unilateral Gaza concession as a springboard for advancing peace, the Palestinians then as today, competed with one another in rejecting it.

Netanyahu has succeeded in avoiding a dangerous collision with Obama at a time that Ahmadenijad and his fanatical Islamists have themselves exposed the nightmare of a nuclear armed Iran

Even the 'moderate' Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas remained powerless to prevent the Iranian backed Hamas terrorists from expelling him from Gaza and then launching thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians across the border. Netanyahu had opposed Sharon's unilateral evacuation then and actually predicted the Hamas takeover and subsequent attacks on Israel. That is why the Israeli leader has laid out his clear-cut positions designed to forestall the rush to create another 'Hamastan', similar to Gaza, on the West Bank.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad

At the same time, the Prime Minister expressed strong support for U.S. President Barack Obama's vision for regional peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. In so doing, Netanyahu has succeeded in avoiding a dangerous collision with Obama at a time that Ahmadinejad and his fanatical Islamists have themselves exposed the nightmare of a nuclear armed Iran. The White House has welcomed Netanyahu's acceptance of the two-state solution calling it 'an important step forward'. Its statement did not refer to the President's insistence that all Israeli settlement must be stopped.

Not far behind the U.S. the European Union has also echoed American praise. The Prime Minister did declare that no new settlements would be built or land expropriated but building at existing settlements would continue. (With former President Jimmy Carter now visiting the Middle East, one possibility could be a variation of his moratorium proposal that was accepted by former Prime Minister Menachem Begin during the Israeli- Egyptian peace talks of 1977).

If the Palestinians persist in their rejection, Netanyahu will have turned the table and exposed their refusal to even accept the idea of the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland

The main thing about the Netanyahu speech is that the mainline Likud, for the first time, has accepted the very idea of a Palestinian state. Ariel Sharon did accept the Roadmap peace plan that envisaged the two state state solution but this and his Gaza evacuation triggered the breakup of Israel's key right wing party. Now Netanyahu, under massive American pressure, has also crossed the Rubicon and agreed that the ultimate goal of peace negotiations will be a Palestinian state. His approach on its being demilitarized, no Palestinian foreign alliances with the likes of Iran or Hezbollah, no return of Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem as Israel's capital, defensible borders and a public Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people are all negotiating positions.

Barack Obama (White House Photo, Pete Souza)

Netanyahu stated specifically that he was ready for negotiations immediately without prior conditions. Naturally, this was understood in the White House but rejected by the Palestinian leaders. Instead of realizing that Netanyahu has opened the door, the Palestinians charge that he has slammed it shut. West Bank President Abbas declared that the Israeli leader had 'sabotaged the peace effort'; his aide Saeb Erekat went as far as to say 'Netanyahu will have to wait a thousand years before any Palestinian will accept his conditions!' (As if the Palestinians do not have their own conditions such as rejecting Israel as a Jewish state, demanding the 'right' of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel and not to their own state of Palestine, the right to an army to threaten Israel, the right to hostile foreign alliances,etc.)

the Prime Minister appears to be have achieved a diplomatic victory by putting the ball back in the Palestinian court

If the Palestinians persist in their rejection, Netanyahu will have turned the table and exposed their refusal to even accept the idea of the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland, like the Palestinians. Likud Mk Michael Eitan summed up this way: 'Netanyahu has accepted the Palestinian right to self-determination, but not if this means the Palestinians will exploit it to deny the very right of self- determination for the Jews!' 

Is there a viable Palestinian partner, one that can advance beyond empty rhetoric and make a peace agreement really stick as have Egypt and Jordan? That remains to be seen. The Prime Minister stated that he would never agree to negotiate with Hamas terrorists who vow to destroy Israel. Moreover, Abbas and his Palestinian Authority on the West Bank had to confront Hamas and reassert their authority over the Palestinians in Gaza. At this juncture, Netanyahu and the ruling Likud party have opted for the strategy of a two-state solution that is the final goal of the process. How to get there - the tactics for achieving this goal will be even more difficult to implement. But for whatever reasons and despite whatever pressures, the Prime Minister appears to be have achieved a diplomatic victory by putting the ball back in the Palestinian court. Will they or can they face Netanyahu's challenge? In any event, look for the U.S. and in particular envoy George Mitchell to follow up with some new proposals on how to keep the Israeli-Palestinian ball rolling.

David Essing

Back To The Top