Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon (GPO)
PM Netanyahu and Minister Ben Gvir with members of the Israel Police special force, February 12, 2024.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke overnight Friday with President Joe Biden, following reports that the White House is examining several options to promote the idea of a Palestinian state that would be announced soon. Then at the end of a meeting of his war cabinet, the Prime Minister said: “I reject outright international dictates for a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.”

Netanyahu reiterated: “My position is summed up in the following two sentences:


1. Israel rejects outright international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. Such an arrangement will be reached only through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.

2. Israel will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7 massacre would give a huge reward to unprecedented terrorism and prevent any future peace settlement.

Lest the “Palestinians” get the idea that all they have to do to get their own state is to massacre a thousand or so Jews.

It’s important to note that Minister Benny Gantz recently declared at a cabinet meeting, according to reporters Amit Segal and Doron Kadosh, that it should be added to the protocol of the cabinet meeting, that he too is against the creation of a Palestinian state.

The White House’s version of the same conversation was provided in this statement:

“President Joseph R. Biden spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. The President and the Prime Minister discussed ongoing hostage negotiations. The President reaffirmed his commitment to working tirelessly to support the release of all hostages as soon as possible, recognizing their appalling situation after 132 days in Hamas captivity.

“The President and the Prime Minister also discussed the situation in Gaza and the urgency of ensuring that humanitarian assistance is able to get to Palestinian civilians in desperate need. The President also raised the situation in Rafah, and reiterated his view that a military operation should not proceed without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the civilians in Rafah.”

Louis Har (R) and Fernando Simon Marman were rescued from Hamas in Gaza, February 12, 2024. / Courtesy


Speaking of humanitarian assistance, according to Maariv, citing political sources, during the Cairo talks this week, the mediators asked Israel to agree to additional humanitarian gestures, to “soften Hamas.” Netanyahu firmly refused and replied that there would be no humanitarian gestures until Israel received concrete evidence that the medicine it sent (as part of two planeloads that were disseminated in Gaza) reached the hostages, as Israel had been promised. Needless to say, so far, no such evidence has been offered.

The two hostages, Fernando Merman (60) and Louis Har (70), who were rescued in a mind-blowing operation earlier this week testified that neither they nor anyone else they were aware of had received any medicine.

Prof. Hagai Levin, head of the medical team of the hostages’ families, said on Monday: “So far, we have not received proof that the hostages received the drugs that were sent to them through the mediation of the French government. I hope we don’t get the proof through medical examinations. All the hostages were supposed to receive the drugs, especially for chronic diseases, but it was also agreed that every hostage would receive vitamins. Fernando was also supposed to receive vitamins.

“If it turns out that the shipment did not reach them – this would be a violation of the Qataris’ promise to the families and the French government. This is extremely serious and will affect their ability to mediate, and this is a cardinal issue,” Prof. Levin noted.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Tuesday tweeted, “After giving a ‘guarantee’ for the introduction of medicines, which reached Hamas instead of the hostages, France continues to help us with additional ‘gifts’: an attempt to bring an outline of surrender to Hezbollah in the north, and sanctions against dozens of settlers from Judea and Samaria. The time has come for us to make it clear: the State of Israel should look after the interests of the State of Israel, not the interests of Paris.”

Or Washington, DC, for that matter.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken with a friend, May 25, 2021. / Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem


The American response is expected to follow a UN Security Council debate on recognizing a Palestinian state. On Wednesday, journalist Said Arikat asked the State Dept. Spokesman Vedant Patel: “Is it conceivable [the US would] go to the UN Security Council and … maybe recognize a Palestinian state although it may not be implemented, let’s say, in the immediate future? Is it conceivable that the United States would not veto it if such a resolution is proposed?”

Patel responded: “Said, I’m not going to entertain or get into hypotheticals. You’ve heard us say before that a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations. That’s not a position that has changed. But what the Secretary (Blinken) said was that there are several policy options that people may propose as part of that process, and our focus continues to be on the diplomacy needed to bring all of this about – getting ideas, getting proposals from concerned and appropriate regional parties, and putting together a credible and clear plan. That’s part of what the Secretary is doing on his travels to the region.”

Elliott Abrams, who served in foreign policy positions for presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, commented a week ago on Secretary of State Blinken’s call for “a concrete, time-bound and irreversible path” to a Palestinian state, noting “The danger to Israel implicit in these remarks is very great.” (Is the Path to a Palestinian State ‘Irreversible?’).

“Even if one assumes that creating a Palestinian state is an important goal, what Blinken has done here is to destroy any preconditions,” writes Abrams. “Blinken of course said that the two states should live side by side with Israel in peace, but he did not make that a condition of its creation. When the United States proposed a pathway to Palestinian statehood twenty years ago in the Bush administration, it was via the ‘Roadmap.’ Its formal name tells the story: ‘A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.’

“It seems ‘Performance-based’ is now gone. If the path forward is “time-bound and irreversible,” there are by definition no conditions that would slow or preclude creating that state. Not Iranian influence, not Hamas control, not support for terrorism, not teaching hatred of Jews, not importing weapons, not building tunnels into Israel, not brutal repression of Palestinian voices that criticize those in power. Nothing,” according to Abrams.

As Said Arikat himself noted, even if the US does not veto it, or even votes in favor, a UNSC recognition of a Palestinian State would have no tangible results, unless some international power decides to take over Judea and Samaria by force. As long as the IDF controls “Palestine” from the river to the sea, Israel is safe from facing two Hamas-controlled terrorist states on its eastern and western borders.

But one cannot deny that being preached by our so-called friends that surrounding our soft belly with these terrorist enclaves is good for us is a big disappointment.

As the Mishna (Sota 9) predicts about the final days: “A son will disgrace a father; a daughter will rise up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his household. The face of the generation will be like the face of a dog; a son will no longer be ashamed before his father. And upon what is there for us to rely? Only upon our Father in heaven.”


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