Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Barack Obama’s new Middle East envoy and told lawmakers afterward he won’t back down from positions that divide Israel and the Palestinians.
“The whole region is burning,” Netanyahu said later in a speech to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. “We have to unite around common values shared by an overwhelming majority of the nation.”
Among the six principles Netanyahu said would govern any future talks are that Palestinians must recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” Palestinian refugees cannot return to Israel, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s “undivided” capital and any future Palestinian state must be demilitarized, allowing an Israeli military presence along the Jordanian border.
When Netanyahu was in Italy he said “there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
Livni said Netanyahu had no right to make such a determination.
“Who are you to tell the citizens of Israel that they and their children, and later their children’s children, will continue to live by their swords forever? Who are you to bury the chances of a deal and of normal life here, after just a few hours in the room meant for negotiations you didn’t conduct?”
That’s why she is dropping in the polls.
Obama’s Pressure Won’t Undermine Bibi
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, 06.15.2011 – 6:01 PM
As the Obama administration continues trying to pressure the Israeli government to make drastic concessions on territory before those talks even begin, they are hoping that domestic critics will chime in to force Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to give in. But the idea that his resistance to Obama’s dictates will undermine Netanyahu at home has always been misplaced. Today’s special session of the Knesset in which opposition leader Tzipi Livni carped about the prime minister is just another example of why Netanyahu remains in the catbird seat vis-à-vis both Washington and the Israeli left.
The problem for Livni, as well as for Obama, is that Israelis understand two things:
1. That Netanyahu, like all his predecessors, has accepted a two-state solution and would give up territory in order to achieve one.
2. That the Palestinian Authority, both before and after its unity pact with the Hamas terrorists is utterly incapable of accepting the legitimacy of a Jewish state in a peace accord no matter where its borders would be drawn and will never formally end the conflict.
Palestinian intransigence destroyed Israel’s left and Obama’s brutal attitude toward the Jewish state has only reinforced Netanyahu’s position. Today Netanyahu outlined to the Knesset again the same framework that earned dozens of standing ovations when he spoke of it to the United States Congress last month. [..]