Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu challenged Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Monday to address the Knesset and recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
“I call on him from here today: let’s break the deadlock,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu in the Knesset and in the presence of visiting French President Francois Hollande.
Netanyahu then invited himself to Ramallah, saying he would go there after Abbas answers his call to speak to the Knesset. That is likely to happen about the same time the Republican party approves Obamacare.
Abbas two months ago, Abbas said he was willing to go to Jerusalem and sit down with Netanyahu, but neither man has to worry too much about the threat that they will meet. There really is not much for them to talk about except how much they distrust the Obama administration.
Netanyahu, in his speech to the Knesset, returned to his favorite taunt of Abbas. “Get up on this platform and recognize the historical truth: the Jews have a nearly 4,000-year-old link to the land of Israel,” he said. “ The Jews are a people with a right to self-determination. In real peace, all Palestinian claims regarding the State of Israel will end, including national claims on its territory and sovereignty.”
Abbas has said that Israel does not need his seal of approval for its being Jewish.
The entire “Jewish State of Israel” gambit is a code word for Israel’s blocking the Arab world’s demand of the so-called “right of return,” meaning the right of several million Arabs to turn Israel into a non-Jewish state, based on the claim of lineage from former Arab residents of the country.
Both Abbas and Netanyahu know it is not going to happen, and both men are playing gamesmanship to avoid the wrath of President Barack Obama, who in turn would be happy if Abbas and Netanyahu were to hang themselves and let the United States off the hook and go back to worrying about its own affairs.