Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose his words carefully Friday when answering a CNN reporter who questioned him closely on how he plans to respond to the United States peace proposal for the Middle East in the coming days. Speaking in a pre-taped interview that aired Friday night, Netanyahu said he would look at the peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Authority “with a keen and open mind.”
The interviewer reminded Netanyahu that U.S. President Trump said earlier in the week that he had decided that the “two state” solution “works best,” and asked the prime minister if he would also endorse that plan as he had once before.
But this time, Netanyahu ducked. He said, “I’ve discovered that if you use labels, you’re not going to get very far because different people mean different things when they say ‘states.’ So rather than talk about labels, I’d like to talk about substance.”
He went on to explain that he’d like to see the Palestinians have “all the power to govern themselves, but none of the power to threaten us.”
Plain and simple, Netanyahu said that Israel “has to have the overriding security.
“Not the UN, not Canadian Mounties, not… I don’t know, Austria or Australian forces; Israeli forces have to have the security control [because] otherwise that place will be taken over by Islamist terrorists, either Da’esh — Islamic State — or Hamas or Iran, or all of the above.
“And that’s my condition. People say, ‘Was that commensurate with a state?’ I don’t know. You decide. I want the Palestinians to govern themselves but not to be able to threaten us.”