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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Likud to Bibi: 'Leave it out!'

In a meeting with Likud MK's in the Prime Minister's office on Wednesday, Binyamin Netanyahu got strong and unanimous advice from his own party: Leave out any reference to the 'two-state solution' from Sunday's key policy speech.
Every MK who spoke at the meeting pleaded with him not to utter the catchphrase "two states for two peoples" when he delivered his policy address on Sunday at Bar-Ilan University. The MKs reminded him of statements he made at a Likud central committee meeting in 2002, in which he warned against the dangers of even a demilitarized Palestinian state, and urged him, "Don't found a Palestinian state at Bar-Ilan."

Netanyahu declined to reveal the content of his speech to the MKs and spoke in only general terms. He denied statements from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he had already decided to endorse the formation of a Palestinian state in the speech. But he did hint that he would use the threat of a nuclear Iran to justify additional steps to meet US President Barack Obama's demands.

"I will be considering a lot of challenges that come from different directions, [and] that will impact generations," Netanyahu told the MKs in the closed-door meeting. "There are strategic threats facing Israel that require us to balance them out."
While Netanyahu was speaking, party colleague Benny Begin was emphatic in a speech to Likud activists.
"There won't be a Palestinian state," Begin said emphatically. "The realities of the past 15 years gravely harmed the concept of two states for two peoples. The state they want is only intended to destroy Israel. The Palestinians are not interested in the two-state solution. They want the two-stage solution, after which there would be only one state: Palestine."

Recalling what Israel offered the Palestinians in Oslo, Camp David and most recently in former prime minister Ehud Olmert's talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Begin said "it is crazy to try the same thing that hasn't worked over and over again."

He quoted former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei, who said in a recent interview that Abbas had rejected Olmert's offer of a Palestinian state in 98 percent of the West Bank plus a land swap of more than 2% of pre-1967 Israel, because "the gaps were too wide."

Begin said this was proof the Palestinians would never accept any deal.

He added that the Palestinians refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state because they intended to keep the Palestinian refugee issue alive after a Palestinian state was formed in order to destroy Israel from within.

Despite repeated attempts from the crowd, Begin refused to answer questions about Netanyahu or the content of his speech, or to insult Obama.

"America is our friend, and we have to persuade our friends when they are wrong," Begin said.

Read the whole thing. Opposition to a 'Palestinian state' in the Likud is across the board.


At 9:17 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would do well to go to the opposite direction: endorse the annexation of Yesha contingent on granting the Palestinians self-rule under Israeli sovereignty. It is the only solution that will protect Israel's national interest while giving the Arabs the opportunity to manage their own affairs. Israel is not obligated to provide them with a state and peoples with more distinctive characteristics such as the Basques of Spain and the French Canadiens of Canada and the Chechens of Russia enjoy only autonomous rule. There is no special reason the Palestinians need more than their current powers. I oppose the so called two state solution out of principle and secondarily because it cannot and will not work.


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