Netanyahu calls for 2 states
Will the Americans finally be satisfied? Netanyahu called for a 2 state solution for 2 peoples, the chief American demand of Israel – But stressed that critical limits must be placed on Palestinian autonomy, that it cannot be business as usual as with other states in the world. Limits to borders and security, demilitarized, etc. Stressing the need to recognize Israel as A Jewish state before progress can be made.
Netanyahu also stressed in the most applauded section of the speech that Israel, the land of Israel is our birthright & spent time laying out history in stark contrast to Obama’s speech in Cairo which was filled with whimsical poetry, but dangerously disregarded reality & history. He went directly at & challenged Obama’s message stressing the Holocaust as cause for the birth of Israel, stressing instead our longing and ties to the land for the length of Jewish history.
Regarding settlements, Bibi stressed that Israel will not expand borders of settlements or impinge on Palestinian lands but did not call for halts to construction within Israeli settlements. Our rights cannot be simply steamrolled thankfully, and initial statements from the right wing & settler movement have been somewhat supportive (keep in mind this is within a few minutes of the speech), there might be other voices and opinions raised shortly. Despite that, it was a solid speech.
Jersusalem, Refugees off the table
No negotiation of Israel’s unified capital, no refugees to return to Israel in the pursuit of peace. He did call for the Arab world to join in the task of building peace, especially to build a joint economic foundation for peace. He similarly to other PMs (most famously Golda Meir) stated his willingness to travel to any Arab country, any Arab capital in the pursuit of peace and invited Arab leaders to Jerusalem for talks with Israel any time.
On the whole, he presented like Obama a vision for peace, but one which unlike the American vision takes into account Israel’s views & needs and not only the Arab demands. This was not a work plan, but a statement of Israeli principles. On the whole it was a good speech, I felt emotion when Netanyahu spoke of Israeli history & sacrifice and by the same token he stressed we are willing to make more sacrifices for peace, things that no other nation would do or expect for peace.. Such is the Jewish people’s desire to live in peace & security with the Arab world.
The Palestinians as normal, as usual for the last 60 years time & again (another detail not acknowledged by the Obama administration to date) have already rejected Netanyahu’s words & call for peace to move forward.. Stating we will have to wait 1000 years for peace negotiations if their demands are not met. Typical.
Initial Links & updates
JPOST: PM lays out Israeli positions for Palestinian State
Haaretz: On Netanyahu, Palestinian rejection.