Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is again making headlines, this time over his vision for an “achievable” solution for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu told MSNBC‘s Andrea Mitchell in his first interview since his re-election for a fourth term, “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. I haven’t changed my policy… from six years ago.”
That, despite his statement earlier in the week in which he said flatly that he would not allow a Palestinian state to be established during his fourth term as prime minister.
Netanyahu maintains there is no real contradiction between the two. The difference, he said, is in the changes on the ground.
If the United States chooses not to veto a vote at the United Nations declaring the Palestinian Authority an independent sovereign state, that will not change the reality, Israel’s prime minister said.
“First of all, that state would become a terrorist state. Iran says that they will arm the West Bank the way they arm Gaza.
“We withdrew from Gaza… and just a few months ago thousands of rockets were fired on our heads. We don’t want it to happen again.
“I think the (Obama) administration has said time and time again the only way to achieve peace is a negotiated solution – you cannot impose peace – and in any case, if you want to get peace, you’ve got to get the Palestinian administration to abandon the pact with Hamas and engage in genuine negotiations with Israel for achievable peace.
“We also have to make sure that we don’t have ISIS coming in to that territory,” Netanyahu pointed out. “It’s only two dozen miles away from our borders — thousands of miles away from yours,” he reminded Andrea Mitchell.
“So we need the conditions of recognition of a Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution – and I’m talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable,” he said.
“To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace,” he added. “It’s time that we saw the pressure on the Palestinians to show that they are committed too.”
But the reality has changed. A unity government was formed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.
Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror organization, already has cells in Gaza. So does Al Qaeda. And operatives from both groups have been discovered and arrested on both sides of the 1949 Armistice line, also known as the “1967 border.”
Attacks have been perpetrated also in those areas against Israelis by operatives from other terror groups, including those affiliated with Hamas and – yes – even Fatah, the faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
With Israel’s survival on the line, can it still depend on America? Netanyahu said he has no doubt.
The prime minister was interrupted with a question about his relationship with President Barack Obama when he began to talk about the “unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States.”
Without missing a beat, Netanyahu replied, “I think that was reflected in the relationship between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel.
“We can have differences,” he went on, “but we have so many things to unite us; and we have a situation in the Middle East [that] is very dangerous and presents a common challenge to us.”
Has Obama called yet to congratulate the prime minister? (By this time, according to the PJ Tatler, the American president had already been on the phone to say ‘mazel tov’ to: Turkey’s newly-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; newly-elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and in the following regime, newly-elected Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin; Afghanistan’s newly-elected President Ashraf Ghani and runner-up Abdullah Abdullah; and new Chinese President Xi Jinping.)Hana Levi Julian