President Shimon Peres has told diplomatic officials that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” is “unnecessary” and is an obstacle to a peace pact, the Yisrael HaYom newspaper reported Wednesday.
The “Jewish state” issue has been one of Netanyahu’s’ favorite ploys to make PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas look stupid. The more Netanya raises the issue, the more Abbas gets his back up, while at the same time insisting that no Jews will be allowed to live in a Palestinian country.
That puts even J Street in a tough position.
But Peres, like Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, don’t understand the Big Picture that Netanyahu sees, a picture of diplomatic chess to put the opposition in a defenseless corner.
Instead, they make out the matter of recognition of a “Jewish State” to be a useless principle.
Not surprisingly, relations between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres are not the best, but then again, that parallels Netanyahu’s relations with another president, Barack Obama. His statements have leaned towards Netanyahu’s demand and away from Peres and Lapid’s efforts to finds a way to let Abbas off the hook.